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Paes to miss Serbia tie

Calcutta: Leander Paes has excused himself from India’s crucial Davis Cup tie against Serbia. After making himself available for the Asian Games, the veteran star has informed the All India Tennis Association (AITA) that due to personal reasons he will have to opt out of the Davis Cup, according Bharat Oza, AITA’s vice president and secretary general.

Paes is locked in a legal battle with his partner Rhea Pillai for the custody of their daughter, and one of the hearings of the case could be around the dates of the tie, scheduled for September 12-14 in Bangalore.

“Leander will play in the Asian Games and was willing to play in the Davis Cup as well. However, due to his personal compulsions, AITA has decided to accept his request to not play against Serbia,” Oza said.

Early this year, the 40-year-old had asked for a break from national duty but AITA recently named him in the squad for the Asian Games, after Paes made himself available for the Games.

Later, Paes had said that he was available for national duty if required. He had missed the Asia/Oceania Group I ties against Chinese Taipei and Korea also.

Serbia are expected to arrive without world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, but they have formidable doubles players such as Nenad Zimonjic in their ranks.

With many memorable singles victories under his belt, Leander is India’s most successful Davis Cup player.

The AITA will meet in New Delhi on Wednesday to select the team for the crucial tie against Serbia.

The winners will qualify for the 2015 World Group, while the defeated country will again contest in the zonals.