I agree the seedings are a joke imho.
Indian tennis star lashes out at Olympic doubles draw
BEIJING: Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi yesterday lashed out at the Olympic doubles draw, claiming singles players don't "deserve" to be seeded, and also hit back at suggestions he was past his best.
Bhupathi, who has buried the hatchet with long-time foe Leander Paes for the Games, accused the International Tennis Federation (ITF) of having an "agenda" and said it should be more consistent.
Pairs can be seeded according to the players' singles or doubles ranking at the Olympics. At other tournaments, only the doubles ranking applies.
"It's the first time I've seen this happen. I don't know what the agenda with the ITF is but I think it's pretty unfortunate that they're doing that," said Bhupathi.
"You've got some great doubles teams playing each other in the first round and these singles guys get to play doubles. I don't think they deserve to be seeded, honestly."
Bhupathi pointed out that Israeli third seeds Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram would face France's Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra, also seasoned doubles players, in the first round.
He added that singles specialists David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro of Spain were handed the advantage of being seeded fifth, meaning they will avoid other dangerous pairings.
Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, the world number one and 10, are the fourth seeds while Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo are sixth.
"Teams like Ferrer and Almagro might be dangerous teams but they definitely don't deserve to be seeded in the doubles draw," Bhupathi said.
"There's got to be some consistency in this world. You can't just show up to the Olympics and do what you feel.
"All these singles guys get to play doubles in the Grand Slams as well but they don't get seeded, so why are they seeded at the Olympics?"
An ITF spokesman said the Olympics seedings procedure was the "fairest" possible.
"The tournament referee decided that because there are many singles players playing in the doubles draw that don't compete regularly on the doubles circuit, that this method for seeding was the fairest," he said.
Meanwhile, the 34-year-old Bhupathi also took Indian media to task for saying he and Paes, 35, were too old for Olympic glory.
The two have nine Olympics between them, finishing fourth at Athens 2004 after Paes took singles bronze in 1996.
"I think we're still capable of winning matches, unlike what the media says. We do have a chance so let's see how it goes here," he said, adding that only "five per cent" of journalists thought the pair still had what it takes.
"The rest of the media think we're over the hill. But I don't see a hill."
Paes and Bhupathi won three Grand Slam doubles titles in 1999 before parting a year later amid a series of well-publicised feuds.
They have since come together for the Davis Cup and the Asian Games, and have played two tournaments this year.
"We're here to win the tournament. It doesn't really matter who we play - we just have to make sure we're ready on day one," Bhupathi said.
"At this level of tennis you can't really slack and there's a lot of singles players in the draw who are very dangerous, as we saw in Athens. So you've got to be ready when the bell rings."