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Indian Davis Cup tennis stars revolt against captain, says report Sun Feb 24, 6:56 AM ET



NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian Davis Cup players have called for the ouster of captain Leander Paes for hurting team morale and confidence, a report said on Sunday.


The Times of India reported that four players -- Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna, Mahesh Bhupathi and Karan Rastogi -- sent a letter to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) saying they had lost faith in Paes's captaincy.

"We are not prepared to play Davis Cup if Leander is the captain. Sorry it had come to this, but up until now we did not have the courage to say anything and it only has gone from bad to worse," the paper quoted the letter as saying.

The controversy follows Paes's decision not to field Amritraj for the opening singles in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I first-round tie against Uzbekistan here earlier this month.

Paes questioned Amritraj's fitness and commitment, although the player insisted he was fit to play.

Amritraj, son of legendary former Davis Cup star Vijay, eventually figured in the decisive reverse singles on the final day to script his team's 3-2 victory.

"Playing Davis Cup for India is our greatest joy. We live for these ties, and through the year we prepare ourselves so we can peak for these occasions," the paper quoted Amritraj as saying.

"He (Paes) has basically killed that joy for us."

AITA secretary Anil Khanna said it would take a decision "in the best interests of Indian tennis" before the next Davis Cup tie in April.

Paes and Bhupathi were also involved in a controversy before winning the doubles gold at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, saying they would never play together again.

But Paes recently said he was confident of playing doubles with Bhupathi at the Beijing Olympics. "I think we have a bright chance of winning a medal in Beijing," he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080224/sp_wl_afp/tennisinddavisrow;_ylt=Ag10nDGosuREF573FPeAg1NNz7QF
 

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Not surprising...It was pretty surprising Mahesh Bhupathi was playing in the team while Paes was the captain!
I hope Paes will leave the team....He's a real jerk
 

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What is wrong with Paes that so many people dislike him?

I don't see anything wrong in saying that a player isn't fit enough to play, this is what a captain is made for. Maybe he said it in a wrong way? :shrug:
 

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What is wrong with Paes that so many people dislike him?

I don't see anything wrong in saying that a player isn't fit enough to play, this is what a captain is made for. Maybe he said it in a wrong way? :shrug:
I said he was a jerk, not because of the actual situation...But because he has always been...so i won't be surprised he said it in the wrong way!
I dont like him, but it's for personal reasons (i've met him several times), but i think people dont like him because of the copying story of the bryan's bro chestbumps...
But i truly think he's a real jerk in life, and i was so upset when i knew he was the captain of Indian team (im indian!).
 

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I am an Indian too and I agree that Paes is a jerk. Though I think this kind of decision must have a lot to do with the Prakash Amritraj/Vijay Amritraj connection.
 
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Very talented guy, but I'm not a fan of his on court antics. Of course, I don't go out of my way to watch him...so maybe he isn't cocky or arrogant all of the time. [Then again, maybe I am just being nice so I don't offend people :p Go Team India!]
 

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I am an Indian too and I agree that Paes is a jerk. Though I think this kind of decision must have a lot to do with the Prakash Amritraj/Vijay Amritraj connection.
Yes probably...and Mahesh as well...I think Mahesh has some "power" in the indian federation...I just hope Paes will leave pretty soon, that we will have a great happy team!
Does Paes really said he wanted to play the Olympics with Mahesh:rolleyes:?!!!! This team was defenietly the best thing India gave to tennis...but i dont know what to think about this...I dont think Mahesh wants to play again with Leander but on the other hand, It's the only chance for India to win sthg and it will be Mahesh last Olympics and he never found back his level since they broke up!!!!!
 

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he and Mahesh back in the day were just unreal:worship:
 

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Mahesh is a nice guy. I met him when he played an exhibition tournament here in 1996. He played in the final with Karim Alami. I never met Paes so I can't comment. As for Vijay Amritraj he is so arrogant and super jerk. I met him in the offices of Star tv in Hong kong before Star was sold to Murdoch. I won't be surprised if his ego is somewhere connected to this episode.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Tennis


Gutless action, says Paes camp
By Gautam Bhattacharyya, Deputy Sports Editor
Published: February 25, 2008, 23:41


Dubai: The Leander Paes camp feels it was "gutless" on part of members of the Davis Cup team to have complained to the national tennis body seeking his removal as non-playing captain. The players, led by senior pro Mahesh Bhupathi, have written to the All India Tennis Association (AITA), charging him of undermining team spirit and refusing to play under him in future.

As a storm was brewing over the new twist to the simmering tension between the two icons of Indian tennis yesterday, Dr Vece Paes, Leander's father and doctor of the Davis Cup contingent said: "In the post-tie meeting, when Leander asked them to review the fixture against Uzbekistan and asked for suggestions, nobody said anything.

"Then suddenly, one learns about the letter...it's most unfortunate," Paes Sr told Gulf News from Kuala Lumpur.


Though the stand-off resulted with Paes refusing to field Prakash Amritraj in the opening singles, the perception is Bhupathi has played the leading role in the 'revolt.' Dr Paes, however, feels it should not come in the way of the two coming together for a last shot at the Olympic doubles gold in Beijing.

"As both are rungs higher on the ATP doubles list, they are the automatic choice to lead the Indian challenge. You cannot deprive India from fielding it's best possible team," he said.

Gastro-enteritis attack

Recalling the Amritraj issue, Dr Paes tried to put things in perspective: "He (Prakash) had joined the squad the previous Friday, but developed an attack of acute gastro-enteritis the next day after coming back from a party. He was suffering from de-hydration and weakness, and under such circumstances, one normally takes about four to five days to recover and be match-fit for an international fixture as this.

"Rather than fielding a half-fit Prakash, the team management decided to field Somdeb Dev Burman, a promising 21-year-old. Prakash, of course, came back on the third day of the tie and won the decider for us," Dr Paes said.

India take on Japan in their next Cup tie in April.

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who were once the world No. 1 doubles pair in 1999, have had a history of troubled relationship. Called the 'Indian Express,' they won three Grand Slam doubles titles before the most publicised divorce in Indian sport came about. Ever since then, the two have played with a series of partners and enjoyed occasional success as well, but the hype was missing. Paes and Bhupathi now come together for national commitments only, though their stand-off after the Doha Asian Games had left a sour taste in the mouth.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
India's Davis Cup team to play under Paes in Japan tie

BANGALORE, India, March 10 (Reuters) - Members of India's Davis Cup squad have agreed to play under captain Leander Paes in next month's zonal tie against Japan but are still demanding his sacking.

"With our only goal being playing for the country and with all other issues very much on the table, we look forward to playing Japan at home in April," the players said in a statement.

"And just to reiterate, the letter still stands," it added.

Mahesh Bhupathi backed a revolt against his former doubles partner by younger team mates Prakash Amritraj and Rohan Bopanna who threatened to boycott unless Paes was replaced.

But the federation backed Cup stalwart Paes by postponing any decision at its executive committee meeting last week.

In a stand-off which could hamper India's preparation for the Beijing Olympics, the Davis Cup players accused Paes of undermining team spirit and running them down in the media.

Paes' decision not to field Amritraj, son of former Davis Cup player Vijay, for the opening singles in an Asian zonal win over Uzbekistan last month sparked the controversy.

Paes, who won a singles bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, had accused Amritraj of lacking commitment, saying a stomach ailment before the tie was down to the player's decision to attend a party.

Amritraj, who insisted he was fit to play, clinched the decisive reverse singles after he was fielded by Paes.

Bhupathi, Amritraj, Bopanna signed the letter calling for Paes to be sacked.
"Having grown up with this dream (of playing for the country), nothing pained us more than writing the letter we did to the All India Tennis Association regarding Davis Cup," the players said in the statement read out by Vijay Amritraj, who brokered the deal with the federation.

"It was done after a lot of thought and with a heavy heart." (Reporting by Sanjay Rajan; Editing by Ed Osmond)
 

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Not surprising...It was pretty surprising Mahesh Bhupathi was playing in the team while Paes was the captain!
I hope Paes will leave the team....He's a real jerk
Me too! But ihad no idea Paes was the team captain :eek:
 

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Pretty surprised when I saw Paes and Bhupathi playing doubles together in s'Hectogenbosch this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Paes steps down as Davis Cup captain


Tuesday, August 19, 2008 (New Delhi)
Months after being faced with a players' revolt spearheaded by his estranged partner Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes on Tuesday stepped down as India's Davis Cup captain exactly a month ahead of the country's crucial World Group playoff tie against Romania.

The AITA has appointed SP Misra, a former Davis Cup player and member of the Indian team which went into the Challenge Round in 1966, as the non-playing captain for the tie against Romania scheduled September 19 to 21.

Paes has, however, retained his place in the team as player.

"India's number one Davis Cupper Leander Paes informed Anil Khanna, Executive Vice President and Secretary General in a meeting held in Beijing just after the tennis event that he would like to step down as captain of the Indian Davis Cup Team for the tie against Romania," AITA said in a statement.

AITA said Paes decided to step aside as "he wanted the best Davis Cup Team to represent the nation and did not want to leave any doubt in anyone's mind for their non-participation to represent the country in the biggest team event."

Meanwhile, in a surprise move Somdev Devvarman, who made his Davis Cup debut in the April tie against Japan, has been drafted into the squad in place of Rohan Bopanna.

"Somdev has been picked on the basis of his recent performance. Leander and Mahesh being our best doubles players, picked themselves into the squad. But Rohan has not been selected because Prakash and Somdev are in better form and are ranked higher than him," Khanna said, referring to Somdev's NCAA title win in the USA this year.

"Of course, Rohan is more experienced but Somdev is in great form and we thought he would be a better choice. Current form and performance were the only criteria while selecting the team," he insisted.

Paes' tenure as captain has been mired in controversy for the past one year with Bhupathi and players like Prakash Amritraj refusing to play under him, citing his critical attitude towards them in the press.

"This man has taken the joy away from playing the Davis Cup," Amritraj had said ahead of the April tie against Japan, which India won to advance to the World Group playoff.

Interestingly, Bopanna was not part of the revolt and had stated that he had no problem playing under Paes.

Although Paes chose to maintain a stoic silence through the entire turmoil after that, the revolting players had apparently made it clear that they would not accept him as captain for the Romania tie.

Paes holds the highest win-loss record for India having won 83 Davis Cup matches against 31 losses.

In a career spanning over last 17 years he has played 44 Davis Cup ties and he took over as the playing captain of the Indian Davis Cup team after Ramesh Krishnan stepped down as non-playing captain.

The tie against Romania will be played on red clay in Clubul Sportiv Progresul, Bucuresti there.

The Team: Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Somdev Devvarman, Prakash Amritraj.

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/showsports.aspx?id=SPOEN20080062179&ch=8/19/2008 5:26:00 PM
 
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