Aisam no more: Bopanna to team up with Bhupathi in 2012

Published: November 28, 2011
Bopanna tells Indian Express newspaper on Monday that he will team up with veteran compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Bopanna tells Indian Express newspaper on Monday that he will team up with veteran compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Bopanna tells Indian Express newspaper on Monday that he will team up with veteran compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012. PHOTO: AFP/FILE Bopanna tells Indian Express newspaper on Monday that he will team up with veteran compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

NEW DELHI: India’s Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi have ended their successful tennis doubles partnership, which was hailed as a symbol of friendship between the rival nations.

Bopanna told the Indian Express newspaper on Monday that he will team up with veteran compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012, while Qureshi will next partner Dutchman Jean-Julien Roger at the Australian Open in January.

“As the season has ended now, I can confirm that I am playing with Mahesh in 2012,” Bopanna said, declining to elaborate on the reason for parting ways with Qureshi after four years.

“Who I want to play with is my decision … I did have a successful year with Aisam but now I am starting a new year with Mahesh, and it’s as simple as that.”

Bopanna and Qureshi, who joined hands in an unlikely partnership in 2007, shot to fame when they reached the US Open doubles final last year and are currently ranked ninth in the world.

The duo actively promoted better India-Pakistan ties and even offered to play tennis over the land border dividing the two countries, which have a history of warfare and political tension.

Bopanna’s announcement also confirmed media speculation that India’s best-known doubles combination of Bhupathi and Leander Paes, who won three Grand Slam titles, would not play together on the circuit.

Bopanna was non-committal on whether the decision to change partners was due to the London 2012 Olympics.

“As of now Mahesh and I have decided to start the year together,” he said. “The Olympics have a lot of other technicalities like form and rankings, and we will see how it goes.”

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Reader Comments (41)

  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 3:59PM

    Good riddance, let them know the people values and it can be taken as the tribute to 26/11 victims.


  • CommonSense
    Nov 28, 2011 - 4:00PM

    Well I guess ‘endgame’ is taking place in tennis too!


  • Saud
    Nov 28, 2011 - 4:10PM

    Aisam should have dumped him long ago.
    He was holding Aisam back anyway.


  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 5:03PM


    Its Rohan who has announced the split, ‘Sour Grapes’.


  • Pinto
    Nov 28, 2011 - 5:14PM

    @Saud: what a joke.infact aisam is a patetic player


  • Ritesh
    Nov 28, 2011 - 5:22PM

    Guys, Cool down!!! It’s a simple tennis decision ..I am sure Aisam and Rohan still remain close friends and probably would be laughing and joking calling each other about these strong comments here ..Rohan cannot refuse Bhupathi as he had been his mentor from junior days and all his endorsements are taken care by Globosport, Mahesh Bhupathi’s sports firm ..They would also want to partner together so as to establish a partnership to have a best chance to get a medal , even better Gold medal at London 2012 for India .. Since Mahesh and Leander are old warhorses with last try for Gold at olympics, I can foresee Rohan and Aisam teaming again together after 2012 Olympics..


  • Karim Javed
    Nov 28, 2011 - 5:44PM

    @Ritesh: Very Well said Ritesh and some politic mind people started their politics here too :P


  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 6:06PM

    Good that Aisam removed indian from his side. He should have never carried on with the negative energy around him. Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 6:15PM


    No Ritesh, I mean it, if a dog bites your leg, will you say it had only bitten my leg so the hands can be friendly with the dog ? Irrespective of whether they laugh off or not, as a nation Pak should made to understand by all diplomatic means that by harboring and nurturing terrorists it will be isolated amongst the international community, that is what I tried to provoke through my comments.


  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 6:18PM

    @Saud: yes aisam should have dumped Bopanna like my chienne mere was dumped on GB road delhi.


  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 6:31PM

    Good that Aisam removed indian from his side. He should have never carried on with the negative energy around him.

    This comment was not made by me, somebody else posted in my name.


  • Err
    Nov 28, 2011 - 6:45PM

    @ashok sai
    Haw hai, yea we are insulted and our egoes are hurt. Are you satisfied? Frankly I dont care if it was a patriotic decision or a personal one, or a tribute or whatever, but why do you have to be so petty and drag the politics everywhere. I guess because you can only laugh at a tennis decision, in real life it sucks for you that despite all the hate you spew on Pakistan, we are extremely iimportant player in the region and even India needs us to safeguard its interests in Afghanistan


  • Aadersh
    Nov 28, 2011 - 6:51PM

    Finally…Now Aisam will b more successful hopefully…


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 28, 2011 - 7:23PM

    There is no big deal. its their game plan. Bopanna is participating in Olympics next year and he needs a partner from his own country. Aisam could have some other reasons too. They have already peaked, therefore they should try something different. Good luck to both of them. We will miss them.


  • Shabnum
    Nov 28, 2011 - 7:24PM

    Ashok, you’re attitude is precisely what is wrong with Pak-India relations. In diplomatic channels around the world, India is praised for its liberal and progressive mindset. Alas, the ground reality is completely different. A significant portion of the Indian population still vociferously harbour anti-Pakistan feelings.

    As for 26/11, kindly provide evidence implicating our state, we will move from there. There is no point you blaming the innocent majority with your baseless and frankly uncouth accusations. We empathise with your dead and we condemn terrorism, do not hijack a potential commonality between our two countries with gaining petty political milage. Especially not over a tennis partnership.

    Wazeer-e-Azam, Imran Khan


  • Salman
    Nov 28, 2011 - 7:37PM

    What people like Ashok Sai doing in Pakistani website ? E.T please keep the forum clean from these Indians. As far as topic is concerned, good that Aisam won’t be playing anymore with that player. His solo ranking is below than Aisam anyway.Recommend

  • Khan
    Nov 28, 2011 - 7:45PM

    @Ashok sai: GB ROAD—Good family business, you and your family must not have been affected by the recession.


  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 7:52PM

    Aisam, Bhagwan bless you for finally leaving Bopanna.

  • correct option
    Nov 28, 2011 - 8:08PM

    @Ritesh: totally agree with you.

    I hope the two remain good friends and are able to partner together in the future. Playing with other partners might prove to be a good move as both will be able to learn new things from their respective partners and hopefully when they get back together InshAllah, they’ll be able to bring these strengths to the table.

    Best of luck to both of them…Stay calm and play on!!!

    p.s. Ashok, I’ve had the good pleasure of meeting lots of very lovely, level headed Indians. Please don’t ruin the impression of your countrymen by spewing such hatred. You and all of us will be better off if there is peace between the two neighbours. Thanks.


  • sick of this nonsense
    Nov 28, 2011 - 8:19PM

    why are people like ashok sai allowed to post here? dude get a life. its tennis. aisam and bhoppana realized that their message for peace falls to deaf ears you being the prime example.
    @salman.. indians, jews or who ever can post on ET. Its online. Nobody should be stopped airing their views, but sometimes people like ashok should be given the book.


  • CB Guy
    Nov 28, 2011 - 8:35PM

    Old news really. good for bopanna. its nothing big, hope he does well. Aisam is doing just fine. The guy won 4 titles last year, one more then what his partner did. His new partner won 5 events last year. he has found a good partner in the Dutchman.

    And those talking about form, Aisam is certainly in a better nick then Rohan. Those who follow the game would know that. Rohan’s big serve may actually become his week point in immediate future as he is making too many double faults off late, even while defending break points. Aisam serves 10 miles slower but he is much more accurate.


  • Err
    Nov 28, 2011 - 8:46PM

    Let ashok sai have his 5 seconds of his only shot at pointing something out on us. Let us instead collectively appreciate the effort he takes to log into a Pakistani website every half and hour to troll over here to score a few petty points to appease his sad, bitter lonely ego. As he cackles over the fact that Bopanna left Aisam – all problems of India (intense poverty, Kashmir, corruption etc) have been solved. Good job Ashok, you seem to be the sharpest tool when laughing about Aisam, because honestly he was one of the very few Pakistanis, who still intensely worked hard on promoting PakIndia friendship and cooperation , so your laughing at him only plays into the hands of all the Anti-Indian elements who are against such sportsmanship. So yea keep laughing on about someone who was actually a friend of Indians and always spoke well of them.


  • sunny
    Nov 28, 2011 - 8:54PM

    Comments above from ashok sai and other indians on the forum shows the typical hostile attitude that indian govt/think tanks promote within india and the world against Pakistan since independence 1947.Recommend

  • sri
    Nov 28, 2011 - 9:30PM

    @ ashok sai –Aisam, ””Bhagwan”’ bless you for finally leaving Bopanna.

    never heard this here in india or bollyood we better love to say “”god”” bless you
    and plz whoever you are get well soon.


  • Hasan R. Sheikh
    Nov 28, 2011 - 9:36PM

    Pairs make and break all the time. Both should learn from their mistakes and move on. Especially Aisam, he has a career ahead of him and needs to make the most out of this opportunity perhaps.


  • Afghan
    Nov 28, 2011 - 10:16PM

    This is a tennis decision. It is not a political decision. Why it is even featured on the front page of ET is beyond me. I doubt a single Indian newspaper has it on its front page.


  • CB Guy
    Nov 28, 2011 - 10:40PM

    @ pinto: yeah well if he is such a pathetic player, why is he ranked 9th? I don’t think you mean Rohan is even more terrible coz he is placed 11th? You are only making yourself look silly.

    @ Ritesh: you are refreshingly reasonable for an Indian poster (no pun intended).

    @ Err: cha gai ho.


  • Ahmed
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:01PM

    Ashok sai and other indians have closed mindset and they forget their own history.
    Let me fresh your short circuited memory.
    India was responsible for breaking one part of pakistan and we should as a nation never forget that and india should know what u sow you shall reap. Enough of mumbai crap. Hundreds and thousands of Kashmiris are killed and maimed and women raped. India is perfect example of a nation that has no conscience like western countries and has double face.
    What India has done in Sri Lanka is unforgiveable both by sinhalese and tamils.
    Bhopal, Bhutan and Nepal are other nations that spit on India.
    India is shameful neighbor without any friends except one corrupt puppet in the neighborhood.
    So don’t preach us morality.Recommend

  • Ritesh
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:02PM

    @Karim Javed:

    Yes Karim Javed. We should shed our jingoisms to become powers representing 1.25 crore and 18 crore citizens respectively and fulfill the dreams of the poorest of the poor in our countries .


  • Ritesh
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:12PM

    I can laugh at the people posting ulterior motives to this tennis decision . Guys, it happens all the time in Tennis . It is a purely professional decision with eyes on London 2012 .

    IF Aisam and Bopanna terminating their partnership represents Pak and India relations , then I think Bhupathi and Leander breaking their partnership , which was won 10+ Grandslam titles together should represent break in Bangalore -Mumbai city relationships???? No , they are splitting as both are 35+ and realize that with old legs, they can’t win a medal in London 2012 and therefore need younger partners for having a realistic crack at London 2012 . People don’t even know all three are from SOUTH INDIA where nobody cares they team with a pakistani or a timbuktu or a bangladeshi . The feelings relating to partition are only confined in
    Northern India especially Punjab and Hindi speaking belt .


  • ashok sai
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:24PM

    @sri: yes this phrase is used in areas like GB road from where i belong and even you live opposite me. Why deny brother?


  • khan
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:45PM

    @CB Guy: pinto was talking about his mutti when he used the word pathetic. Regarding Ritesh, well an apple never fall far from the tree. He is no different from the chienne indians.


  • bashir
    Nov 29, 2011 - 1:56AM

    is ISI and RAW involved in this split ???


  • You Said It
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:42AM

    Go, Bopanna/Bhupathi! Next stop, the gold medal podium, London 2012!!


  • LOK
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:47AM

    Reading the comments here, it seems Aisam and Rohan have wasted 4y trying to bring the Indians and Pakistanis together… This is Tennis, completely normal to change partners by doubles players. May be Leander will play with a Chinese. Aisam used to play with an Israeli. pls leave politics out of sports.


  • Amit
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:48AM

    Unfortunately politics does come in play between Pakistan and India. When terrorists trained from Pakistan kills innocents all over India then it is difficult to play as if nothing happened.

    @Ritesh: Before Mumbai (even though there was constant poking from their side in Kashmir and Kargil) most of the Indians had no issues whatesover with sports and even now we hosted them well in Comm games.

    @Shabnum: well I hope the state is not involved, may be if your govt can provide voice samples then it will be all clear… may be even in neutral country not India. If Pakistan has nothing to fear then whats the problem.


  • Nov 29, 2011 - 9:01AM

    Big mistake.


  • Ritesh
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:31AM

    Please remember that even after 26/11, the loudest cheer the crowd gave in Commonwealth Games Opening ceremony after Indian contingent was PAKISTAN ..So Pakistanis generalizing about Indian posters of having hateful feelings is not a correct statement


  • Ihk
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:47PM

    I <3 Aisam


  • Prudent
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:25PM

    @ashok sai:
    FIRST OF ALL 26/11 was not carried out by Aisam…secondly it was not carried out by 18 crore Pakistanis….just like you have Bal Takray, Shiv Sena, and had massacres in Gujarat by hindus….similarly we are ashamed to have a person born like Kasab…a crime by a bunch of people is not by whole nation…..but still if you say so…then …good riddance……to you and bhuppati as well…… are one true close minded man…..


  • Slim
    Nov 30, 2011 - 9:23AM

    he is a better player den aisam


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