3 June:After months of squabbling, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have finally agreed to put their personal differences aside and team up for the Beijing Olympics following a fresh round of peace talks brokered by the All India Tennis Association.
AITA Secretary General Anil Khanna flew down to Paris, where Paes and Bhupathi are participating in the French Open, to meet the duo and settle their differences.
The meeting took place on Monday night and Paes and Bhupathi have finally agreed to play together before the Olympics in a couple of tournaments besides preparing themselves in a week-long training camp.
"Leander and Mahesh being true patriots and professionals have agreed to put in their best effort by pairing up for Beijing Olympics to win a medal for the country," Khanna said in a statement on Tuesday.
"In a meeting held in Paris on 2nd June with me, Leander and Mahesh have set up a preparation programme for the Olympics," he added.The veteran duo will team up for the Ordina Open (grass court) in Shertongenbosch, Holland a week before the Wimbledon.
They will then once again pair up a couple of weeks after the Wimbledon in the ATP hard court tournament to be held in Indianapolis.
"Just before going to Beijing and after Cincinnati, Lee and Hesh will get together for a few days training programme with Leander’s coach Rick Leach and Mahesh’s coach Scott Davidoff and a trainer," Khanna stated elaborating on the duo’s preparations.
"Both players will reach Beijing for the opening ceremony and will have a training session in Beijing for a few days before the tennis competition begins in Beijing," he added.
The compromise has been reached after both players engaged in a fresh round of war of words a couple of weeks ago with Bhupathi saying that he did not wish to team up with Paes.
Bhupathi alleged that Paes was not cooperating in the preparations for the Olympics and said it would be better to pair up with Rohan Bopanna in such a scenario.
Paes, however, maintained that he and Bhupathi could still make a successful team at the Olympics and their best shot at a medal was together, not against each other.Courtsey : DD NEWS