Sania keen to pair up with Bhupathi

New Delhi, December 01: Sania Mirza is keen to pair up with Mahesh Bhupathi for next year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. “It is a possibility that Mahesh and I may play together. We had spoken initially about the US Open (2011) but I will be speaking to him about the Australian Open now. We will be meeting up at a tennis camp in Mumbai in a few days time and I will be talking to him there,” said Sania, who is in Delhi taking part in a Fed Cup camp at the DLTA.

However, Sania is non-committal about who she would be partnering at the London Olympics saying that the event scheduled for July next year is still a long way off. “Of course being an Olympic year, it will be on the back of everyone’s mind. But tennis isn’t like other sports where you only have to concentrate on that one event. There are three Grand Slams and some 15 tournaments before I even start preparing for the Olympics. As of now my focus is the Australian Open,” said Sania.

Speaking about the splitting up of the Mahesh Bhupathi -Leander Paes combination, Saina said that while a lot of emotion was attached to the duos partnership, one had to see it in terms of a relationship one which simply had run its course. “Sometimes relationships just do not work out. Of course I am in a great position because I get to chose between three guys (Paes, Bhupathi and Bopanna) all ranked in the top ten of doubles.”

Currently recuperating from a knee surgery which she underwent last month, Sania said that she was recovering well. “I am able to play an hour and a half. My next tournament is a month away, so I have time to prepare. I have to train harder now though. When once I would play for three hours and gym for one, now I have to play for one and gym for three. But coming back from injury is quite once you undergo go under the knife, you are never the same,” she said.

‘It was Leander’s call’

Meanwhile, Bhupathi has claimed that it was Leander Paes’ decision to end their reunion within a year. “Leander just felt that we were possibly a little too old on the tour and not able to gel on a consistent basis. He felt that our team needed fresh legs on either side. That was his point of view. Unfortunately, that’s the crux of the equation today,” Bhupathi said.

Bhupathi and Paes reunited after a nine-year gap with the plan of representing India at the Olympics next year but stunningly parted ways at the end of this season. While Bhupathi has decided to team up with Rohan Bopanna, Paes will be partnering Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic.

Bhupathi, however, insisted that there was no fallout between the two as in the past. But he did say that it was hard for him to explain the split.