ibnlive » Sports » Tennis

Jun 21, 2007 at 08:18am IST

Indian tennis team stands divided

Doha: Indian campaign in the men's tennis event came to an end when the team lost to Chinese Taipei to crash out of the Doha Asian Games.

After the win the blame game has started and cracks are appearing in the team.

Skipper of the Indian team Leander Paes was unhappy with Mahesh Bhupathi's performance in the deciding doubles match but chose his words carefully while talking up the performance of the team.

When asked how he felt after the loss as India were expected to do well in tennis, Leander Paes replied that it was very disappointing to lose to Chinese Taipei.

Though he did not name any one for the loss but it was very clear that he was not happy with the way the doubles match was played.

"We had a tough draw as we played second seed Chinese Taipei. After the way both our singles players - Karan Rastogi and Rohan Bopanna - played it was very disappointing show in the doubles. The responsibility is ours. We went out there to play our best and we lost and so it is our responsibility. I think we have got to be honest with ourselves and to put the best team forward. My job as a player and as a captain is not only to win medals but also chose the best team. Unfortunately with the performance against Chinese Taipei we have to rethink," Paes said.

Paes also said that they would have to rethink about the strategy for the singles event as the draw is on December 6.

"We are going to let it simmer down a little as we had a really bad outing and one of the worst that we have played in the last eight years," Paes said.

He added that the individuals must take responsibility and not hide their injuries.

"We have got to take responsibilities for our injuries and our game. We also have to take the responsibility of putting our best team forward for the country. That is what I think," he added.

However, coach Nandan Bal was quite curt about Bhupathi's performance.

"I find it very difficult to believe that a Grand Slam winner fails to hold his serve even once. Obviously Mahesh was struggling with his form but you can't that much. The Chinese Taipei team is not anywhere near the same league as we were. You can't win a match if one does not hold the serve even once," Nandan said.

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