After Rohan Bopanna, India’s ace tennis star Sania Mirza also slammed the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and stated that the sports body has denied the nation from a medal opportunity in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled to start from July 23.
Bopanna in a tweet stated that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) didn’t accept any entry request for him and Sumit Nagal. He added that AITA mislead players by claiming that the pair still had a chance to make the cut for Tokyo 2020.
ITF has never accepted an entry for Sumit Nagal & myself.
ITF was clear that no changes were allowed after the nomination deadline (22nd June) unless Injury/Illness.
AITA has mislead the players,government, media and everyone else by stating we still have a chance. @AnurajR1
— Rohan Bopanna (@rohanbopanna) July 19, 2021
Apart from Mirza, former tennis stars Mahesh Bhupati and Somdev Barman also shared their views in this regard.
Here’s what they said:
Bottom line is @rohanbopanna and @MirzaSania don’t play. If it were me I would be moving mountains to find a way for him to go considering they were so close last time . Also I don’t think it’s incompetence . They just don’t care.. and if you don’t care you don’t know https://t.co/jxB5YGl02P
— Mahesh Bhupathi (@Maheshbhupathi) July 20, 2021
Whaaattt???If this is true then it’s absolutely ridiculous and shameful..by this it also means that we have sacrificed a very good shot at a medal in the mixed doubles if you and I would have played as planned. We were both told that you and sumit’s names hav been given .. https://t.co/h3fGkK0im8
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) July 19, 2021
Sadly not surprising
Nothing will change until incompetence gets the boot https://t.co/2zBzL8oIBB
— Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) July 19, 2021
Taking note of Bopanna’s allegations, AITA secretary general, Anil Dhupar, said that the sports body tried their best to send a double’s team before adding that a player should not depend on withdrawals to qualify for Olympics.
“All formalities started on June 17 and we also wrote taking a chance that if Sumit being single’s player is also entitled to have a doubles partner. So that’s why we changed the nomination from Rohan-Divij to Rohan and Sumit for the Tokyo Olympics,” Dhupar was quoted as saying by ANI.
“All offices were closed on Saturday and Sunday, ITF is closed. I don’t know why he is saying all this. If you are so good why are you depending on people’s withdrawal? You are a world-class player you should enter the Olympics on your own, why are you depending on withdrawal.”
“I don’t understand..and where is the problem from the federation. AITA has done its very best to ensure that Rohan and doubles players go to the Olympics so that we also get a chance to play mixed doubles. Entry into the Olympics is not in the hand of the federation. There is law and provisions for that,” he added.
AITA had initially paired Bopanna and Divij Sharan for the men’s doubles event at the Games but the pair couldn’t make the cut due to its low combined rank of 113.
After Nagal’s entry in the men’s singles event because of several pullouts, AITA had proposed to pair Bopanna and Nagal in the men’s doubles event at the Games.