Tennis Row Created Bad Blood Among Players-Sania

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   (2012-07-10 00:00:00)

New Delhi: Sania Mirza on Monday said that the bitter London Olympics tennis selection row created bad blood among the players and also strained her relationship with Mahesh Bhupathi but she has left it behind to focus on winning a medal in mixed doubles with Leander Paes.

Paes was forced to pair with lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan in men`s doubles after both Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna refused to play with him. He was paired with Sania Mirza in mixed doubles as a compromise.

"The controversy did not do anything good to anybody. It created bad blood among us and that is very unfortunate. I am happy that it is over and I can now concentrate on doing well in the Olympics with Leander and win a medal," Sania said.

"Let us move forward and focus on winning a medal. Leander reached the final at the Wimbledon and that is the positive thing. I and Mahesh lost and that was unfortunate. We should have been playing in the final," she said.

Sania said that the selection row also strained her relationships with Mahesh Bhupathi.

"It was difficult to block the controversy from my mind and it was disturbing me. The situation did not arise because of what I said. Mahesh and I have been very good friends but the controversy did strain our friendship," she said.

Sania said that she had preferred to play with Bhupathi in mixed doubles but with Paes also, they can have a good shot at a medal.

"I am a forehand player and Mahesh a backhand player, so I had preferences. But I have never said to play or not with any player. I am ready to play with anybody for my country.

"Leander is a very good player and long time friend. I have played with him also for long. It`s an honour to be playing with him in Olympics. I am in good form, won French Open (with Bhupathi). He (Paes) reached the final of Wimbledon and so he is also in great form. We can have a very good shot for a medal," she told a news channel.