In a new twist to the tale of Leander Paes's late arrival for the Rio Olympics, the six-time Olympian said that he hadn't been allotted a room in the Games Village, along with the rest of the Indian team. The 43-year-old said that after arriving in Rio on Thursday, he had to change in Indian Chef De Mission Rakesh Gupta's room, reported The Times of India. This comes a day after reports emerged that Paes had delayed his arrival in Rio and, therefore, did not practice with the rest of the Indian tennis team.
"I am slightly disappointed that having played six Olympics for India, I haven't been given a place to stay," Paes said. "I was playing a tournament in New York and took the first flight on its completion. The match got over at 8 and I took a 10.45 flight to Rio. Of the three rooms that have been assigned in the apartment, one is with Zeeshan, and the other two have been given to Rohan [Bopanna] and the team physio."
India's non-playing captain Zeeshan Ali also rubbished reports that Paes did not want to share a flat with his doubles partner Rohan Bopanna. "There have been speculations that Leander has complained that he doesn't want to share a room with Rohan, but there's no truth to it. I and the organisers were aware that he was to reach Rio on Thursday (August 4). Sure he will be low on time for the match on August 6, but he practiced on arriving will be ready for the match," Ali said.
Ali also denied reports that there was any bad blood between Paes and the higher-ranked Bopanna, who had picked Saketh Myneni as his partner for the men's doubles, before the All India Tennis Association stepped in and ruled in Paes's favour.