It's too late to play with Paes: Bhupathi

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ace tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi has showed his displeasure on pairing with Leander Paes for the Beijing Olympics.

Updated: May 24, 2008 09:09 IST
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New Delhi:

Ace tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi has showed his displeasure on pairing with Leander Paes for the Beijing Olympics. Mahesh Bhupathi spoke to NDTV over his increasing frustration over the communication gap between him and Leander Paes.

The 10 Grand Slam doubles winner pair of Paes and Bhupathi have not been on talking terms and there has been a persistent cold war between them.

Bhupathi said he feared that this kind of 'rapport' might affect the medal chances. Bhupathi seemed to be in a very stern mood, saying it's too late for Leander and him to play together and the AITA might need to field two teams, if they are unwilling to change the current team comprising of Paes and Bhupathi.

"Leander and I are best option for India but we need to go with some kind of preparation. We need to build a team."

"It's been over five weeks since I spoke to the AITA. It's not about past performances. Rohan Bopanna and I are better prepared as a team," Bhupathi said.

However, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has ruled out any changes in the team for the Beijing Olympics and said that it's not up to Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi to decide who goes to the Olympics. Reacting to Bhupati's letter, AITA said that the two players cannot allow their differences to come in between.

AITA Secretary Anil Khanna asked Bhupathi to keep the country's interest in mind while making it clear that only "the best" team which has already been announced would be sent to compete at the highest level.

"AITA's position is extremely clear. We have already nominated their names as a team on February 28," Khanna said

Indian Olympic Association General Secretary Randhir Singh said that Khanna spoke to him for a fortnight-long camp before the Olympics.

"Anil Khanna spoke to me about a 15-day camp before the Olympics. There is nothing to be reinvented between them. They just need some practice together before the Games," he said.

"They are the best players. They have been the world number one. I request them to play their best for the country. I firmly believe they have a great chance to win a medal in Beijing," he added.

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