PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist
PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist

Palembang : Leander Paes’ last-minute withdrawal from the Asian Games has dealt a telling blow to India’s medal prospects in the two doubles events, captain and coach Zeeshan Ali said.

Ali said he tried his best to convince Paes to change his mind but the 18-time Grand Slam champion decided against coming to Palembang after expressing his disappointment over selectors not picking a doubles specialist to play with him.

“It is obviously very disappointing to not to have Leander. It is a big blow to us. But then again he is a complete professional. It is his decision completely and his patriotism for the country

cannot be questioned,” Ali said on Friday.

“Having said that, Paes needed to be here irrespective of whoever he was going to play with as he volunteered to represent the country,” Zeeshan said.

The former Davis Cupper said that his focus is now is to rejig the doubles combination after Paes’ pull-out.

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