There has been much controversy over the list of those who have been included in the list for the Asian games. While some sports disciplines have been cut out, other disciplines, such as tennis, received permission for all players to attend the Asian Games.
With the Asian Games beginning on 19th September, top Indian officials were shocked to hear that tennis stars, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, and Leander Paes had made the decision to skip the Asian Games. It appears that the players are more concerned about their ranking and money that is connected to the ATP and the WTA Tours.
An official in the sports ministry said: “We have been kept in the dark all along and even today I am hearing only from the media that these three players will not take part.”
An AITA (All Indian Tennis Association) official, who preferred not to be named, explained that while it is understood how important the ranking points are for tennis players, the players who made this decision should have informed AITA much sooner. “We don’t ask them whether they are available or not, but once the team is selected we inform them about their selection,” said the AITA official.
Bopanna commented on his decision to bow out of the Asian Games, saying: “It was a tough decision for me to take. At Tokyo, I won the tournament last year so I have to be there to defend my title. I would always like to represent my country but unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to at the Asian Games because I have to earn ATP points from these two tournaments.”
This is not the first time that tennis players have pulled out of the Asian Games in order to play in other tournaments in order to earn ATP points. The changes, while negatively affecting the tennis team going to the Asian Games, may positively affect other teams that could be given permission to take with additional team member support that had been cut with the limited numbers this year.