Tennis star Rohan Bopanna is furious with the way AITA misled him into thinking that the doubles player still has an outside chance of making it to the Olympics. The doubles player had previously partnered Sania Mirza in the previous edition of the Games, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal.
Only three Tennis players from India have made the cut to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which includes the women’s doubles duo of Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina, and most recently Sumit Nagal, who made the cut in the men’s singles event.
AITA dropped Divij Sharan’s nomination and placed Rohan Bopanna alongside Sumit Nagal for the men’s doubles qualification for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. However, as per reports, the ATP never accepted any entry request for Rohan and Nagal, who were not able to directly qualify for the Games with a combined rank of 113.
"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 misled the players, government, media, and everyone else by stating we still have a chance," said Rohan Bopanna.
Meanwhile, Sania Mirza, who qualified for the mega event, was furious on hearing about the turn of events, as she also claimed the AITA has sacrificed a very good shot at the medal. She was expecting to partner Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles event for the second consecutive time at the Olympics.
"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 have been given (sic)," Tweeted Sania Mirza.
On the other hand, the AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar has hit back at Rohan’s complaints, stating that he was unnecessarily blaming the governing body for missing out on an Olympics berth.
"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 told ANI.
"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."