New Delhi: The AITA chief Anil Khanna wants Sania Mirza to compete with Leander Paes at the mixed doubles event of the London Olympics and not with Mahesh Bhupathi with whom she has won two Grand Slam tournaments, sources said.
Sania and Bhupathi won the French Open last week to emerge as strong medal contenders at the Olympics.
Sania is yet to get a wild card for Olympics and is ready to play with any player she's teamed up by AITA but she had made it amply clear that she is keen to partner Bhupathi as they play well as a team.
Sania is yet to get a wild card for Olympics and is ready to play with any player she\'s teamed up by AITA.
Sources privy to discussions said, when Khanna was in Paris during the French Open, he had discussion with Sania and his family on the team combination.
"Sania had said that she is ready to play with any player who is chosen for the team with her but also made it clear that given a preference she would like to play with Bhupathi," a source said.
The sources said, Sania's point of contention was that since Bhupathi is strong backhand player and she herself is a forehand player, they make a good team.
"Leander is also a forehand player and Sania too, so Sania's coach and father Imran's contention was that Sania and Bhupathi make a better team than Sania and Paes. However they told Mr. Khanna that Sania will play with whoever AITA chooses," the source said.
Sania and Leander had played as a team in the mixed doubles event of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi but came a cropper as they lost in the quarter-finals.
They were playing together after a gap of four years and had lost to Scotland's Colin Fleming and Jocelyn Rae.
Sania and Paes had won gold medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.