After being asked if his former partner Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna were under-prepared for the Games, Bhupathi answered by saying, “Underprepared? There were no preparations at all. They didn’t play matches together. Even when Leander and I were not playing together on tour in 2004 and 2008, we always came together and played a few tournaments and that’s what Olympics demands. This year they went in cold… One match against a dilapidated Korean Davis Cup team is not the way to prepare for the Olympics. Our best shot was in the mixed doubles but were unfortunate.”
Having won 29 titles in their career as doubles partners- 3 Grand Slams and 26 ATP Events, Bhupathi and Paes had parted ways because of irreconcilable differences. Bhupathi said even after he and Paes stopped playing together, they continued to get together before the Olympics for preparation. The equation between Paes and Bopanna, again, has not been optimal at all. Things seemed to get out of control when Bopanna picked Saketh Myneni ahead of Paes. The All India Tennis Association (AITA), however, overruled his decision and named Leander Paes as his partner instead. Interestingly, Paes was keen to share the court with Rohan in order to compete in his seventh Olympics.
He went on to praise the efforts of Mirza and Bopanna, who lost out on a bronze medal in a close encounter. “It was unlucky. We were so close… 3-1 up in the super tie-breaker, 6-2 in the first set; well, one just has to credit Venus for the kind of tennis she produced from the other end,” he said.