Mahesh & I needed a break, says Sania Mirza
India's Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza will not play mixed doubles at the US Open despite the pair having captured two Grand Slam titles together as the bitter fall-out from the Olympics continued
Bhupathi will team up with Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic in New York while Mirza will play alongside Britain’s Colin Fleming.
“Our commitment was only upto the Olympics and we both thought we needed a break after all that has happened in the recent past,” Sania told PTI from New York.
The Bhupathi-Mirza split is being seen as an after-effect of the recent Olympic selection fiasco that dominated Indian sporting headlines before the Games.
India’s top-ranked player Leander Paes was forced to partner a much lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan in the men’s doubles event after both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Boppana refused to play alongside Paes citing the fact that they were a doubles pair themselves. As a result of this, the All-India Tennis Association then in a bid to appease Paes made Mirza partner him in the mixed doubles event — thereby breaking the Mirza-Bhupathi partnership that previously won the Australian Open in 2009 and French Open in 2012.
An angry Mirza then hit out about the arrangement, saying she was uncomfortable at being used as “bait” to keep Paes happy.