Paes, Bhupathi mourn Olympic defeat

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

Leander Paes spoke of a "hollow" feeling having gripped his partner Mahesh Bhupathi and him after the duo suffered a heart-wrenching defeat.

Paes, Bhupathi mourn Olympic defeat
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Athens:

Leander Paes spoke of a "hollow" feeling having gripped his partner Mahesh Bhupathi and him after the duo suffered a heart-wrenching defeat in an epic bronze medal playoff of Olympics' men's doubles tennis competition that ran well past midnight. "It is a huge disappointment. We are feeling a bit hollow at the moment," said Paes after the 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 14-16 defeat to the Croatian pair of Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic in a three-hour-and-58-minute marathon contest. "We were aiming to win a gold for the country and now we would be returning without any medal," said Paes, despair writ large on his face. Accepting blame India's Davis Cup hero even said he was willing to accept the blame for the defeat as it was his return volley that crashed into the nets, which gave victory to the Croats. "It was my fault. These things happen in sport and we have to accept it. We gave it our best shot but unfortunately we could not get the medal," said the 31-year-old. His 30-year-old partner Bhupathi was equally devastated by the defeat. "It is very disappointing. We had prepared very hard for the Olympics. Winning an Olympic medal was a dream but now we will go back without anything," he said. On the match, Bhupathi said, "we started off very well but could not capitalise on the chances". ATP circuit Asked whether the duo were planning to reunite on the ATP circuit, he said, "we are already committed to our respective partners for this season. But next year we will take a decision. Paes, who is not new to nerve-wracking situations having played some epic matches in the Davis Cup arena, was clearly unnerved by this battle of all battles. "It was a mind-boggling contest -- a very tough one and full credit to the Croatians for the victory. We certainly had a bigger ambition. It had been our goal of the year to win a medal in the Olympics. It is the ambition of every athlete to win a medal," said the player. (PTI)

Topics : Tennis
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