Rohan Bopanna’s act of making his conversation with All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary general Anil Dhupar public will be referred to its ethics and managing committee, the sports body said on Tuesday. AITA also released its complete correspondence with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) concerning the qualification of Indian men’s doubles team for the Tokyo Olympics. The e-mail correspondence revealed that on July 2, AITA demanded a clarification from ITF on how the world body gave entry to the USA (CR 118), Spain (CR 170) and Portugal (CR 204) in the men’s doubles despite the fact that their combined rank was below Bopanna and Sharan’s 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 mislead the players,government, media and everyone else by stating we still have a chance. @AnurajR1
— Rohan Bopanna (@rohanbopanna) July 19, 2021
The matter became worse with the drop of a series of tweets. The 41-year-old senior tennis player, Rohan pointed all his fingers at the AITA for allegedly misleading them and fanning false hopes to encourage ideas about his chances of making it to the Tokyo Olympics to compete in the Men’s Doubles.
Joining the chorus, 6-time Grand Slam champion and 4th time Olympian, Sania Mirza also called out the AITA. She cried out saying that the Federation is responsible for them losing out on a medal chance in the Mixed Doubles.
Disappointed by the actions of such senior and reputed players, the Secretary General of the AITA, Anil Dhupar condemned Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza’s behaviour on social media.
In the audio recording, it can be heard Rohan Bopanna and Anil Dhupar talking about the former’s nomination. Bopanna starts the conversation by asking Anil Dhupar how he is doing and then they went onto further discuss the Olympic qualification issue.
“Hello Anil sir, how are you doing?,” asked Bopanna.
To which AITA Secretary General replied that he is doing okay and waiting for ‘tomorrow’.
“Bas theek hai, I am waiting for tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed, may be we get some good news tomorrow.”
“I saw Berrettini has pulled out sir…,” asked Bopanna.
“Who?” Anil Dhupar asked back.
He then went onto say, ” I am saying that I am expecting some good news tomorrow, be ready, that’s all.”
“Sumit and my entry is fourth as of now?” asked Bopanna.
“It is in fourth”, replied Anil Dhupar. He further went onto say, “Sumit and yourself because your and Divij is out of question.”
Rohan Bopanna then asked, “ITF has accepted that?”
Anil Dhupar replied, “that they have accepted the nomination.”
Later, Anil Dhupar expressed his displeasure over the comments made by Bopanna and Mirza and said it was inappropriate. “Twitter comments by Rohan Bopanna and then Sania Mirza are inappropriate, misleading and without knowledge: they should have checked the rule book of ITF regarding qualifications,” he said.
Twitter comments by Rohan Bopanna and then Sania Mirza are inappropriate, misleading and without knowledge: they should have checked the rule book of ITF regarding qualifications.
– Anil Dhupar, Hon. Secretary General, AITA
— All India Tennis Association (@AITA__Tennis) July 19, 2021
Spilling bad blood and indulging in dirty politics unnecessarily has become the norm in Indian tennis. Especially when it comes to the Olympics. Strangely enough, the senior players of the circuit have been at loggerheads with the AITA on one too many occasions.