Sania's partner to be finalised later
The suspense over who will partner Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles at the Olympic Games, provided she gets a wild card either in singles or doubles (with Rushmi Charavarthy), became only deeper with the All India Tennis Association deciding to wait until the end of Wimbledon.
“If Sania is given a wild card, she has a chance to play mixed doubles. So the committee decided that since the mixed doubles team can be made in the event itself, there is no urgency to make the mixed doubles pairing and it will be decided after the Wimbledon is over,” AITA General-Secretary Anil Khanna said after announcing the names of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi as India’s lone entry in the men’s doubles.
“The selectors would like to see how the players perform on grass, their fitness levels and also we have to bear in mind that the combined ranking as per June 11 will also be taken into consideration.
There will be only 16 entries, only four wild cards with ITF and 12 main direct entries (in mixed doubles). We are hoping that some of the 12 direct entries like (Marion) Bartoli (of Frence) and (Novak) Djokovic (of Serbia) will not play but we are not sure till the tournament begins. The Sania and Paes pairing is 100 percent assured with their combined ranking being 19 but there is a chance that Sania-Mahesh can also be paired as the they are two below the cut-off ranking of 24. So mixed doubles will be decided only after Wimbledon is over,” he explained.
There are also reports that Khanna wants Sania to pair up with Paes.
While the Hyderabadi, who won the French Open mixed title with Bhupathi, has expressed her desire to play with the Bangalorean, she has agreed to comply with AITA’s decision as to who would be her partner.
Khanna also said that the AITA would apply for a wild card in singles for Somdev Devvarman as he was in the mock entry list in June last year.