17-time Grand Slam winner Leander Paes, who is due to partner Rohan Bopanna at the Olympic Games in the men’s doubles, has allegedly not been granted a room in the Olympic village.
Paes, who arrived in Rio de Janeiro last night – the 4th of August, after playing the World Team Tennis tournament in the United States of America – missed a practice session with his teammate, having landed separate from, and later than the rest of the side.
The athlete, who is playing in his seventh Olympic Games, alleged that he was forced to change in the room of Rakesh Gupta, who is India’s Chef de Mission at the Olympic Games. Paes alleges that teammate Rohan Bopanna and his physio each were given a room, while Indian tennis captain Zeeshan Ali was given another.
The 1996 Bronze singles medallist is suspected to not get along with teammate Bopanna, and allegedly refused to share accommodation with the 36-year-old at the Olympic village. Paes, Bopanna and Zeeshan Ali have all rubbished these claims, saying the pair would put personal differences aside to perform on the biggest stage of all.
Arriving late in Brazil following the completion of his league series in the United States, Paes was unable to practice with Bopanna, instead hitting around with Zeeshan Ali, while Bopanna trained with Nenad Zimonjic and Sania Mirza instead.
Reports say that Paes informed the Indian Olympic Association of his desire not to share lodgings with Bopanna.
Both Paes and Ali claim there is no truth to the rumours that the 43-year-old has asked for separate accommodation, and addressing the rumours of his no-show at practice with Bopanna, have said they were aware of his late arrival to Rio.