2nd August, 2012, London: Indian tennis ace Leander Paes and his mix doubles partner Vishnu Vardhan were defeated at the 2012, London Olympics on Wednesday. The Indian pair lost the match 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-3 against Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Leander, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bronze medalist, was paired with Vishnu after Mahesh Bhupathi denied to be his doubles partner. The controversy became ugly when Mahesh Bhupathi said that Leander lied him several times and changed his doubles partner without informing him in November 2011.
Later Bhupathi wrote to AITA (All India Tennis Association) that he wanted to partner Rohan Bopanna at 2012 Olympics. After that AITA decided to pair Paes with Vardhan.
The new pair defeated Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer and Robin Haase in the 1st round, but the French duo proved to be too good for them even though the Indian pair pushed the Tsonga and Llodra till the end.
With this defeat, India’s expectations of a medal in men’s doubles has ended as seventh seeded Bhupathi and Bopanna had already lost to another French pair Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet few days ago.
In tennis, India’s only hope is in the mixed doubles where Leander Paes will play with Sania Mirza. Their 2012 London Olympic campaign will begin on Thursday.