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Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes have left Indian tennis in a mess, says Vishal Uppal

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Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes have left Indian tennis in a mess, says Vishal Uppal

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SportsCafe Desk


The pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes was a curse for Indian tennis and has ultimately left the sport in a mess in the country claims former India player Vishal Uppal. The Indian men's doubles duo had won a total of 25 international titles which includes three Grand Slams as well.

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are the first two names that will pop up in any Indian tennis fans' mind when questioned about the sport. However, former India tennis player Vishal Uppal said that the highly-praised and reputed Indian duo of Paes-Bhupathi is the one to blame for the poor state of the sport in the country at the moment.

"I am not questioning their laurels. What they achieved was incredible but their era was a curse for Indian tennis. Their infighting overshadowed their achievements and created bad blood that continues to this day in Indian tennis.

"There was no point asking them to be grown-ups about it. Both claimed to be the wronged party and both are responsible for leaving Indian tennis in a mess," Uppal said in a recent interview with TOI.

37-year-old Uppal added that the Lee-Hesh controversy had also affected other Indian tennis players. He further claimed that the other good players had fallen off the media radar due to their unfair coverage of the Indian duo.

However, Uppal reckons the future of tennis in India is bright as he singled out the likes of Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi for special praise.

"The future is bright for both men and women. Prajnesh is getting better with every tournament. His story is inspirational because he lost four years because of stress fracture. In the women's category, Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi have started doing well," Uppal added.

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