Calcutta: Having decided to compete in the Olympics (a decision first reported in these columns), Leander Paes is working on a programme for young Vishnu Vardhan, chosen as his doubles partner for the extravaganza in London.
Leander has never partnered the 24-year-old.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, Leander has already made arrangements for Vardhan to train at Big W, venue for the Olympics, in the ongoing Championship’s final week.
After Wimbledon gets over, Leander moves to the US for the World Team Tennis (WTT) and Vardhan will “in all probability” travel with him and train too.
If a hitch develops, then Leander will make arrangements for Vardhan to keep training on grass, the surface for the Olympics, and wait for the July 16 opening of the Games Village.
One wonders what Leander’s detractors have to say about the initiative he’s taken for, among other things, team bonding.
While the Olympics begin on July 27, the tennis competition starts a day later. The WTT is scheduled for between July 9-28.
The sources have informed that, if Vardhan has to travel to the US, then his tickets will be taken care of by the All India Tennis Association. As for the other expenses, Leander has got a sponsor on board.
Leander turns out for the Washington Kastles in the WTT and was adjudged the Most Valuable Men’s Player in 2009 and in 2011. Teammates include the Williams sisters.