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Leander, Mahesh have to play: Vijay

Mumbai: The on court chemistry between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi still makes them tough competitors and they should play together for India’s sake at the Beijing Olympics, former Davis Cup captain Vijay Amritraj said.

“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 told reporters here Saturday.

Amritraj called on Paes and Bhupathi to bury their differences, if 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 at the Olympics,” Amritraj said.

“They are young and fit. They should get along like a house on fire,” he said.

Amritraj also praised the performance of 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”.

Amritraj felt that though the All India Tennis Association has done very well in introducing several tournaments on the circuit, India have failed to get back into the Davis Cup World Group as the players from the other countries are better placed.

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