NEW DELHI, June 20 (PTI): The tennis imbroglio worsened today with Leander Paes threatening to withdraw from the London Olympics if he is paired with a lower-ranked player, forcing AITA to defer the team announcement till tomorrow.
Paes has communicated to All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) that he is country�s top-ranked player, placed number seven in the ATP rankings, so he is not ready to pair with a junior player just because Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have refused to team up with him.
�If Mahesh or Rohan refuse to play with me for our country, then I am happy to play with the next best player that the AITA decides on.
�It would not be acceptable, if with my ranking as the best Indian tennis player, I give up the best option of partner for winning a medal for my country and am made to play the Olympics with a player ranked 207/306 in the world while the No.13 and No. 15 ranked players form another team together based on their refusal to play with me,� he wrote in his letter to AITA.
The junior players referred to in the letter are Vishnu Vardhan (ranked 207th) and teenager Yuki Bhambri (306th).