Leander Paes will play in London Olympics with Vishnu Vardhan

Updated: 29 June 2012 10:48 IST

India's ace tennis player Leander is disheartened by the entire selection row for the London Olympics but has confirmed that he will be playing his sixth Olympic Games with the partner that the All India Tennis Association has picked.

Leander Paes will play in London Olympics with Vishnu Vardhan
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New Delhi:

India's ace tennis player Leander is disheartened by the entire selection row for the London Olympics but has confirmed that he will be playing his sixth Olympic Games with the partner that the All India Tennis Association has picked.

In his official statement, Paes said he'll play in the London Olympics. He said it is his Olympic dream to do the sixth one, and he will not let petty politics affect it. He said: "I won't let petty politics come in way of hard work and good tennis."

He also said that he does not want to react to anything anyone has said, he will play with the team AITA has chosen.

"I see games being played within games, and as much as that is very disheartening, I am looking forward to playing my sixth Olympics for India," he said.

After days of maintaining a stoic silence on his Olympic participation, Paes said despite being left disheartened by the controversy, he is focussed on playing "sport and not politics".

The 39-year-old had threatened to withdraw from the Olympics despite being India's number one doubles player after being paired with Vishnu Vardhan for the big event.

Paes' partners of choice - Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna - refused to combine with him and insisted on being sent as a team themselves. The All India Tennis Association ultimately bowed to their insistence, leaving Paes furious. If that was not enough, his mixed doubles partner for the Games - Sania Mirza - also took a potshot at Paes by claiming that she was used as a "bait" to pacify him.

"I am here to play sport and not politics," Paes said

"Unfortunately, I see the games being played within games, and as much as that is very disheartening, I am looking forward to playing my sixth Olympics for my country as I have played for 22 years for the people and the flag."

Paes, the world number seven doubles player, said he had no complaints about being paired with Vardhan, who is ranked 207 in the ATP list.

Asked about Sania's outburst, Paes refused any direct comment, saying, "Every Olympics has some nonsense coming in with it."

"I know how much hard work goes into what I do. (Either) people choose to respect it, which I'm very lucky that India does, (or) people choose to disrespect. That's their problem, not mine," he added.

(With PTI inputs)

Topics : Tennis Team India Leander Paes Olympics 2012
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