London: Here's the press statement Rohan Bopanna issued after he communicated to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) that he wanted to team up with Mahesh Bhupathi and not Leander Paes for the men's doubles event at the London Olympics.
Over the weekend, I was approached by the AITA with a request to pair with Leander Paes as the AITA's 'second choice' team to represent India at the Games of the XXX Olympiad. While I was apparently the partner of choice for all other concerned parties, I was told that the AITA's original decision to exclude me and overlook my pairing with Mahesh Bhupathi was a 'unanimous' one, given that the Olympics needed 'veteran champions' to compete at that level. The irony of this situation was not lost on me.
With all respect and humility, I have been unable to accept AITA's offer and have communicated my decision to them in writing this morning. Given the public nature of this personal decision, I felt it was important for me to share my perspective.