It’s time for Indian tennis fans to rejoice as Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi announce reunion; to team up at the Australian Open after a nine-year hiatus.
One could sense it coming at the Davis Cup tie in September. The famed chest bumps were back; the ladies sat side by side cheering their men from the stands and the pair who had kept an arms-length distance from each other over the last nine-years were having a ball on court.
Indian tennis fans got some great news as the dream team of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes have decided to reunite in January after a nine-year hiatus.
The surprising announcement came in the most unexpected manner. Mahesh Bhupathi broke the news on social networking site Twitter. “So the Indian Express rolls again at the Aussie Open next year. Our first slam in 9 years..you heard it here first people...” thus went his post.
Predictably, the news attracted instant consent. Fellow Davis Cup teammate Rohan Bopanna tweeted his congratulations, “@Maheshbhupathi wow thats huge news. :) good luck boys.”
Davis Cup captain SP Misra, who was unaware of the news, welcomed it. “It’s a very good thing for Indian tennis. It is also a boost if they are playing together as a team and will be good preparation before the 2012 London Olympics.”
Interestingly the duo has chosen to kick things off in Melbourne at the Australian Open, one of the slams eluding them. The other slam missing from their decorated cabinet is the US Open.
The Indian Express have had their share of problems but on the few occasions that they have played together for country, their on-court chemistry still remained solid. The pair currently holds the Davis Cup record for the longest winning streak in doubles of 23 matches.
Said Misra: “They still make a very good doubles team and it’s good that they have buried whatever differences that they had. They have given superb results (Davis Cup) so far and won every match with me as captain. To sit in the chair with a team like that there is hardly anything to tell them as they are that good.”
Leander Paes has won 12 Grand Slams while Bhupathi is not far behind with 11. Together they have won the French Open in 1999 and 2001 while winning Wimbledon in 1999.
Misra had one word of advice for the duo. “They still have it in them to win any of the tournaments around. Only thing is they should remain injury free. Game wise they are still very good.”
It’s an early Christmas present for Indian tennis fans and it looks like this partnership is firmly back on track.