New partners for Paes, Bhupathi
In the City

Calcutta, May 13: 
There�s no end to Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi�s problems. The estranged duo will have to gell with a new set of partners this week at the Hamburg Masters Series meet.

While Paes has joined forces with Czech Tomas Cibulec, Bhupathi will play with American Jan Michael Gambill.

Gambill will be Bhupathi�s fifth partner in as many meets (after Mirnyi, Todd Woodbridge, Jeff Tarango and Paes). Cibulec, on the other hand, is Paes� third partner in the last two months (after Justin Gimelstob, De Jager and Bhupathi). But for the week they played together as a one-off understanding a fortnight ago, neither has done well. In Mallorca, of course, Paes and Bhupathi emerged champions.

For Paes, it was a kind of no-win situation with South African John-Laffnie De Jager � the man he had banked on after his split with Mahesh Bhupathi in March. The Indo-South African pair failed to get past the first round of any of the four tournaments they entered. Forget a match, they couldn�t even win a single set.

Paes was looking for a new partner, but he hadn�t thought it would have to be this soon. He will now have to rethink about the French Open where he was planning to continue with De Jager.

Bhupathi had no choice but to change partner for Hamburg. �Max (Mirnyi) has a sore knee, so I am playing with Gambill this week,� Bhupathi informed The Telegraph. �I am taking the next week off before getting back with Max for the French Open and Wimbledon.�

That puts paid to any outside chance of Paes and Bhupathi defending their French Open title. The optimists had started dreaming after the duo�s title triumph in Mallorca.



Basu debtilts towards Mahindra

Basudeb Mondal, Mohun Bagan�s dependable mid-fielder is inclined towards shifting to Mahindra United. Mondal, who returned from Bangladesh on Monday, said that while he has not got in touch with any Bagan official, Mahindra�s offer is quite lucrative. He said he would wait a day before taking a decision. Mondal, however, made it clear he would not play on a reduced budget.

IFA president

Arun Poddar is set to become the new IFA president. A meeting of club-representatives on Monday decided to vote for Poddar. Although 38 of the 51 voting members of the Governing Body were present, a decision will be taken on Wednesday. The election has been necessitated by incumbent Raghunath Dey�s late decision to contest. Noomi Mehta and Arun Samanta are likely to become vice-presidents.

EB signings

Sangram Mukherjee, Arun Malhotra, Surya Bikash Chakraborty and Subhashish Roy Chowdhury signed for East Bengal. While Malhotra was with Bhratri Sangha, Roy Chowdhury has shifted from Tollygunge Agragami.

Ambar Roy meet

The Ambar Roy Memorial sub-junior cricket meet got underway at the Eden. Former Indian batsman Sandeep Patil was present on the opening day which saw Barasat Subhash Institute�s Prasenjit Biswas take six wickets and score 36 runs.

Kaviguru Rally

Favourites Sanjay Arya and Yogesh Gupta, in a Maruti Esteem, won the fifth Servo Kaviguru Rally on Saturday. Chandrachur Bhattacharya-Somdeb Chanda and Prasanta Paul-Sumit Mukherjee, also in Esteems, came second and third.

In the two-wheeler category, Mukesh Thakkar and Rajdip Fadikar bagged top honours. Rana Dey and Jaidev Chowdhury came second.

BHA league

Customs hope to finish runners-up in the BHA Group A league after a 0-0 draw against Eastern Railway. Though Customs and CPT are equal on points, Customs, with more wins should get second spot following IHF rules. In another match, SAI beat Khalsa Blues 2-1.

Bagan eves win

Mohun Bagan walloped Bidyut Sporting 9-0 in a women�s league match at the SAI Monday. In another match, Jubak Sangha got a walk-over because Friends Organisation was absent.

BTTA camp

The BTTA summer coaching camp, whhich was supposed to start on May 15, will now start from May 20 at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra.


Soccer: The Telegraph Merchants� Cup: Indal vs Norinco, Price WaterhouseCoopers vs The Taj, Blue Star vs BPCL, Jet Airways vs Bata (from 7 pm); Usha Martin vs KQ School Advantage; Citi Corp vs Confreight Shipping, INFAR vs HTA, ITC Infotech vs Madhya Bharat Paper (from 7:30 pm); Selvel A vs J Thomas, Tata B vs Apeejay Surrendra, Bayview Technologies vs Magors, Tata Tea vs Digital Think B (from 8 pm) at CC&FC ground.

Cricket: Ambar Roy sub-jr meet (Eden Gardens)

Tennis: Junior age-group tournament at Ordnance Club.

Hockey: BHA League � Group A: BSF South Bengal vs Howrah Union (East Bengal); Group B: WB Police SC vs Punjab SC (M ohun Bagan). All matches at 3:30 pm.


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