Beating the dead horse is unimportant, says Amritraj on Bhupati-Paes spat

New Delhi [India], Apr. 10 (ANI): Vijay Amritraj, former Indian tennis player, on Monday said the long-standing war between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi is unimportant and was like beating a dead horse.

The rift between the country's two tennis stalwarts widened after Bhupathi dropped Paes and instead picked Rohan Bopanna in his final four-man team for Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group I tie against Uzbekistan.

Speaking to ANI about the ugly spat between the two, Amritraj said, "It's completely unimportant. It's like beating a dead horse."

"The most important thing is to concentrate on what we need to do and that means to get the players in top 50. We are not going to make the world groups, the Fed Cup. We are not going to make the Grand Slam. That's the goal and that should be the focus. If we get players in top 50, everything else is immaterial," he added.

Bhupathi, India's non playing Davis Cup skipper, had previously selected Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N. Sriram Balaji for the tie against Uzbekistan, and had kept both Paes and Bopanna as reserves in the squad.

Following Bhambri's withdrawal due to his knee injury, it was speculated that either of Paes and Bopanna would be included in the team as the fourth member.

However, Bhupathi ended Paes' hopes of making it to the Davis Cup squad by saying he wasn't willing to take the risk of playing Paes and N. Sriram Balaji together in such a high pressure game.

On Sunday, Bhupathi said he had no "personal agenda" in keeping Paes out of the Indian Davis Cup team and said his former partner's decision to leave Bengaluru mid-way into the tie was a final nail in the coffin.

"If I had a personal agenda against Leander then he wouldn't have been on the squad, but he was and unfortunately he was able to get to Bangalore on Tuesday night which is too late for him practice with anybody to be selected," Bhupathi had said.

"He should have been here on Monday, he knows that and that was one of the main criteria's. He was obviously playing well because he won the tournament, but for him not to practice with Bala before me announcing the team was very difficult for me to put him in," he added.

Bhupathi, citing his conversation with Paes through text messages, also said that he had always kept his estranged partner on the loop over the team probables for the tie up.

Paes, who was left out of the Davis Cup for the first time in 27 years, had lashed out at Bhupathi and accused him of flouting section criteria. (ANI)