first_img(REOPENS DEL 23) (REOPENS DEL 23) However, according to ITF, a National Association can appeal for a players inclusion if he does not meet the Davis Cup criteria. If Paes has to be there in Rio, he will have to be content playing only the mens doubles since AITA is not going to stop Sania from choosing her choice of partner this time. “Sania can play with the partner of her choice,” the official said. It is no secret that Sania is more comfortable playing with Bopanna than Paes. Sania, the current world number one in womens doubles, was forced to play with Paes at the 2012 London Games when she wanted to play with Mahesh Bhupathi. Paes, a top-10 player then, was not given the chance to pair with Bopanna, who preferred to team-up with Bhupathi and thus to appease him, Sania was forced to team up with Paes by the AITA. Now the situation is such that Paes is not in a position to bargain and has to make peace with the fact that he at least is not denied the chance to play a record seventh Olympics. Also, when it comes to the combined ranking for entry into mixed doubles, which will have a draw of 16 teams, it is highly likely that only the pair of Bopanna and Sania can get inside. With Paes rank of 46, he and Sania may not get into the draw. “Its unfortunate that our two players, who were playing a Grand Slam final a few days back, may not compete together. But this how the situation is. A lot of people may not know it is quite possible that Leander and Sania do not get in at the time of on-spot sign in,” said another official. “There will be Roger Federer (3) and Martina Hingis (1) with a combined ranking of four. Singles rankings of the players will also be considered and there could be Serena Williams (1) and a top American player (either Bob or Mike Bryan) with a combined ranking of 5 or 6. So it will be difficult for Paes with a ranking of 46 and Sania with a combined ranking of 47 to get into the draw,” he explained. The ITF is set to clarify on the eligibility of players on June 9 and AITAs selection committee will pick the Indian squad on June 11. The Committee is headed by former Davis Cup captain S P Misra and includes current Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali and former coach Nandan Bal. PTI AT KHS PM ATadvertisementlast_img

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