NEW DELHI : India on Saturday dropped veteran Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for next month’s Davis Cup tie against New Zealand following a row over Olympics team selection.
Both Bopanna and Bhupathi had said ahead of the London Games they would not partner with veteran Leander Paes at the Olympics for personal and professional reasons.
The All-India Tennis Association (AITA) said it had instructed the selectors not to pick either player for the Kiwi tie.
“In view of the stand taken by Bhupathi and Bopanna regarding selection for the Olympics team, they should not be considered for the selection of the Davis Cup team,” the AITA said in a statement.
The selectors named a new-look squad for the Asia/Oceania Group I tie against New Zealand, to be played in Chandigarh from September 14-16, as both regulars Somdev Devvarman and Paes were unavailable.
The AITA said Paes had expressed a desire not to be considered for the Cup tie, while Devvarman was not fit.
Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Saketh Myneni, Divij Sharan, Sanam K. Singh and Sriram Balaji Narayanaswamy were named in the squad, with the final four to be decided on September 2.
The controversy over the Olympics team selection started after the AITA had initially named Bhupathi and Peas for the doubles, even though Bhupathi wanted to play with his current partner Bopanna.
The AITA were later forced to pick two doubles teams for the Olympics, with Paes pairing with lower-ranked Vardhan, and Bhupathi partnering Bopanna.
Both the pairs fell in early rounds at the Olympics.