All India Tennis Association (AITA) yesterday condemned tweets by tennis stars Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza over qualification of players for Tokyo Olympics.
“Twitter comments by Rohan Bopanna and then Sania Mirza are inappropriate, misleading and it appears, without knowledge of the rules. They should have checked the rule book of ITF regarding qualifications, something that Divij Sharan seems to have done while writing to TOPS,” AITA said in a statement.
“Rohan Bopanna could not have qualified as per ITF Rules. Therefore Sania Mirza’s tweet is also baseless and coming from a player of her stature, is condemnable,” the statement further read.
Bopanna had, earlier on Monday, tweeted that AITA “misled” players by saying that Bopanna and Sumit Nagal had a chance at qualification for the Games.
“ITF has never accepted an entry for Sumit Nagal & myself. ITF was clear that no changes were allowed after the nomination deadline (22nd June) unless Injury/Illness. AITA has mislead the players, government, media and everyone else by stating we still have a chance,” Bopanna had tweeted.
Responding to Bopanna’s tweet, Sania said: “Whaaattt??? If this is true then it’’s absolutely ridiculous and shameful..by this it also means that we have sacrificed a very good shot at a medal in the mixed doubles if you and I would have played as planned. We were both told that you and Sumit’’s names have been given.”
Questioning Bopanna’s accusations, the AITA statement further read: “Is Rohan Bopanna suggesting that we should have entered his name with Sumit Nagal one month ago, when Sumit’s ranking was in the 140s and Divij was at 78. The comment by Rohan Bopanna, who is a senior player is due to lack of knowledge and without understanding the facts, rules of ITF and is unwarranted and totally misleading.
AITA called out Sania’s comments as “most inappropriate”.
“Even the comments of Sania Mirza are most inappropriate. Ranking of Rohan with Divij or Sumit Nagal were not good enough for qualification. So how did we lose an opportunity to win medals either in men’s doubles or mixed doubles,” AITA said.
“This tweet and statement of Mr. Bopanna is condemned unequivocally.”