There is great news for Indian tennis as Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are going to be playing together again on the ATP Tour. This was announced today by Mahesh Bhupathi himself over his Twitter account. The message said, “So the Indian Express rolls again at the Aussie Open next year. Our first slam in 9 years..you heard it here first people…”
And fellow Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna replied via Twitter, “Wow, that’s huge news. Good luck boys.”
An interesting way to announce and react to such big news for Indian sports. Paes and Bhupathi have been two of India’s best tennis players and together the best in the business about a decade back, but a clash of egos and the duo would only play together in the Davis Cup, Olympics and Asian Games once in a while and still they would show their class together.
Now Paes, aged 37, and Bhupathi, aged 36; are back again and will play together in the 2011 Australian Open. To prepare for the Aussie Open they will also play two other ATP Tour tournaments and one of them could be the season opening Chennai Open, which would draw massive interest at home.
It seems with age the two have become wiser and have decided to play together again with the partner, who would be best for them. This year Paes played with Lukas Dlouhy of Czech Republic and Bhupathi with Max Mirnyi of Belarus. And the partnership is until the Australian Open, thereafter they will review the situation and if they can recreate the magic then could play together for the whole 2011 season.
Just to add a personal angle. Those of you who know me, know that I not only follow football but other sports as well like Formula 1 and Tennis. Actually I first started using the Internet when I joined university in late-1996 and one of the things I used to follow was tennis, especially a site from my friend R. Jayakrishnan and it was the time of the rise of the Indian Express tennis doubles team of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. And Jay’s Indian tennis website was also a reason for me to start my own Indian Football website, Jay surely was a source of support!