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New Delhi: Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi have decided to split as a pair, ending the speculation over their future as a mixed doubles team following the bitter selection row ahead of the London Olympics.
The two players are playing with different partners at the US Open as Sania has teamed up with British doubles specialist Colin Fleming while Bhupathi is playing with Czech Andrea Hlavackova at the last Grand Slam of the season "Our commitment was only upto the Olympics and we both thought we needed a break after all that has happened in the recent past," Sania told PTI from New York.
The selection row had resulted in straining the friendship of Sania and Bhupathi as an angry Sania had alleged that she was used as a "bait" by AITA to pacify a disgruntled Leander Paes with whom both Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna had refused to play at the Games. Paes was forced to play with lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan and in compensation he was assured pairing with Sania in the mixed doubles event.
Sania's preferred partner was Bhupathi, with whom she won two Grand Slams, but she was not consulted by AITA who her preferred partner was. Bhupathi had stuck with Bopanna as partner and sacrificed his partnership with Sania. Sania had won Australian Open (2009) and French Open (2012) with Bhuapthi.