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Amritraj urges Paes, Bhupathi to join hands ahead of Beijing Olympic

Mumbai, Dec 22 (UNI) Former India Davis Cup captain Vijay Amritraj today called upon Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi to join hands for the sake of the country ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Speaking to reporters here, the Indian tennis legend said that court chemistry between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi still makes them tough competitors.

''I don't think they have a choice but to play together for two weeks at the Games for the sake of the country. If they just stand on the same side of the court, it will simply put pressure on the other side,'' Amritraj said.

He gave a clarion call to Paes and Bhupathi to bury any differences, if they have any.

''What they have done (by winning a host of Grand Slam doubles crowns) is nothing short of outstanding. They will now have to come together for the country's sake and aim for a medal in the Olympics,'' Amritraj said on the sidelines of the Good Earth Super Series juniors tournament.

He felt that though it would be an ideal scenario if the 'Indian Express' could play together in a few tournaments ahead of the Beijing Games, it would still work out for the pair, if they are unable to do so because of the understanding they have exhibited in the past on court.

Amritraj also praised the performance of India's top woman player Sania Mirza, saying ''She has not rested on her laurels and works very hard at her game. It's not easy to repeat what she did in her first year in the second, but she has done it. We all pray she stays healthy.'' UNI

Story first published: Saturday, December 22, 2007, 20:04 [IST]
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