New Delhi: His fans may be disappointed not to see Leander Paes in action at Chennai Open as he preferred Brisbane International over India's only ATP event, but the organisers said they have learnt to live without India's most celebrated player.
Chennai Open, starting Monday, is now India's only ATP
Tour event and it is the third time in four years that Paes
has decided to skip the event.
The officials of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association
(TNTA), which organises the event, are not expressing their
disappointment openly and are relying on a strong singles
field to pull crowds to the courts.
Speculations are rife that appearance money could be a
factor in Paes' giving a miss to the USD 450,000 doubles event
"As far as we are concerned we have learnt to live
without Leander. In 2009 he lost in the first round. In 2007
he did not come and did not turn up for 2008 event as well. So
we have learnt to live without him," C B N Reddy, the TNTA
Paes, winner of 10 Grand Slam titles, has said that he
wants to play in Brisbane event to get used to the Australian
conditions to give himself a better chance to win Australian
Open men's doubles, the only title missing from his Major
But Reddy said that Paes has not specified any reasons to
"He has not told us any reason. Only he can tell why he
is not playing. Our representative personally contacted him
and requested him to play. We would love to have him play
here. But he did not. What do we do?”
"We have a good singles draw and people would come and
watch those players," Reddy said.
Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy have been given
the top billing at the Brisbane event.
Defending champion and world number 14 Marin Cilic, 2009
French Open finalist Robin Soderling of Sweden and India's own
tennis star Somdev Devvarman are part of a solid singles draw.
P Karti Chidambaram, the Organising Commitee Chairman,
said they made every effort to bring Paes to the Chennai Open.
"There is still time to sign up for the doubles by 6:00
pm today. May be he will sign up. But even in the past this
tournament has gone on without him.”
"I had a frank and fair discussion with him. He expressed
his views and I expressed mine. I told him that this India's
only ATP event and asked for his support," Chidambaram said
without revealing the matter of discussion.
First Published: Saturday, January 02, 2010, 17:24