Paes-Bhupathi to split at end of season

Chennai: The `Indian Express` duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi will split again at the end of this season and would not compete together in the season-opening Chennai Open early next year, official sources said on Thursday.

"Paes and Bhupathi have decided to part ways at the end of this season. And Bhupathi would be pairing with Rohan Bopanna at the Chennai Open," M A Alagappan, President of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, said here.

Paes was to partner Radek Stepanek but the latter has not yet promised his entry to the tournament so far, informed Alagappan, who is also the Organising Committee Chairman of the Chennai Open.

So, it is likely that Paes would either skip the event or pair with someone to be announced later.

Paes and Bhupathi won the doubles title at the 2011 Chennai Open by defeating the Dutch-American pair of Robin Hasse and David Martin in the final.

Nearly a year after the pair had got together after nine years, there had been intense speculation that they may part ways again.

Paes and Bhupathi are the most successful Indian tennis doubles players with 23 Grand Slams between them.

In the year 1999, the duo reached the finals of all four Grand Slams, winning the Wimbledon and the French Open, thus becoming the first Indian pair to win a doubles event at a Grand Slam.

Together they have won three major titles and only the Australian Open still eludes them as a pair.


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