Paes takes a sabbatical

India’s most experienced Davis Cupper, Leander Paes will not be available for the national duty this year.

Paes conveyed his decision through his father Vece Paes to the All India Tennis Association (AITA).  He will not be considered for selection for India’s forthcoming home tie against Chinese Taipei in Indore from January 31. Another event lined up this year is Asian Games (September 19 to October 4).

“The AITA received a communication from Dr. Vece Paes on the January 2, 2014 who after consultations with Mr. Anil Khanna shared Leander Paes' reasons to excuse himself from the forthcoming Davis Cup tie against Chinese Taipei, scheduled to be held in Indore from the January 31. Leander has also expressed his inability to be a part of other events in 2014,” AITA secretary-general Bharat Oza said in a statement on Saturday.

It has been learnt that Paes has taken the break due to some personal issues. He also wants to spend more time with his daughter, Aiyana.  The AITA said it would respect Paes’s decision.“Considering the magnanimous contribution Leander Paes has made to Indian tennis for the past two decades, and completely empathizing with his need to spend time with his family, the AITA has taken a decision to respect the wishes communicated by Leander. 

He has also expressed happiness that his sitting out of the squad would give an opportunity to the upcoming talented pool of players to showcase their game in front of the home crowd,” AITA said.

In the absence of Paes, the national tennis federation was confident of selecting a strong squad for the forthcoming Davis Cup tie.

“The present lot of experienced players like Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna would be well supported by the likes of young guns Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni, Jeevan Neduchezian, Sanam Singh, Divij Sharan, Purav Raja, Sriram Balaji, and Vishnu Vardhan to name a few, and provide for a tough playing combination. Young players like Ramkumar Ramanathan, Karunuday Singh and Arjun Kadhe are knocking on the doors of Davis Cup Selection.”

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