The French Open saw not just Novak Djokovic do a career grand slam but also Leander Paes and Martina Hingis. The couple who won their 10th title in the mixed doubles achieved this elusive feat as well. They beat the pair of Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig. Though logically Paes should have been happy about his win and the record but what crossed his mind was his rivals defeat in the men’s double semifinal earlier in the day. The Croatians’ loss had direct consequences on Leander’s chance of making it to a record 7th Olympics. It was ironic that he lost more than he won.
The reason being that the semifinal loss of Dodig ensured that Rohan Bopanna would finish inside the top 10 of the men’s double ranking, this ranking provides him the right to choose his partner for the Rio Olympics.
And his statement even before the final ranking came where he had mentioned that “If I don’t make it (to the top 10), then I’ll have to pair up with Leander (Paes). But if I’m in the top 10, then I can pick my partner” was not at all encouraging for Leander Paes who was chasing a dream record.
Paes though had remained hopeful that Bopanna would chose him given his experience and in fact had stated after winning the French Open title that he has proved his merit by winning the trophy and thus he becomes the automatic contender and the issues of the London 2012 will not resurface again.
But it seems Bopanna still seems to hold some grudge of last Olympics as the reports are coming out that he has chosen a lesser ranked much younger player Saketh Myneni over the legendary Paes.
Though the final selections still rests in the hands of AITA who will take the final call on who goes to the Olympics but as things stand it seems to be an end of road for the former Olympic medalist Paes.