New Delhi, Aug 5: Doubles star Rohan Bopanna made public his angst after missing out on the Arjuna Award yet again, this time for All India Tennis Association (AITA) not nominating him within the deadline.
“We professional tennis players put in a lot to bring laurels to our country. And no one could question otherwise. However, it is when the system (the Tennis Association in this case) functions sloppily that is not only disrespectful but also robs one of the hope of a deserving acknowledgment,” Bopanna said in a statement on Saturday.
The deadline to send applications expired on April 28 but the AITA sent his name only on June 14 after he won the French Open mixed doubles title with Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski.
AITA instead chose Saketh Myneni, winner of two medals at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, for the awards nomination.
“Arjuna award is one of the prestigious awards a sportsman receives in our country. It is not just the honour that that it carries in receiving it but it’s also an acknowledgement. A humble response to the hours, days and years an athlete puts into their craft to keep excelling while keeping their grit unbroken. It is recognition to an athlete’s patience and perseverance as they make it against all odds.
“I want to take this platform to congratulate Saketh Myneni on receiving this award. I couldn’t be more proud as I have seen him grow into the player and the man he is today,” Bopanna said in the statement.
“I am calling out to the lack of professionalism and efficiency by AITA for not sending my nomination for the Arjuna Award before the deadline. I have witnessed many such excuses for the past decade (while I was eligible and my record didn’t falter) and then too, have never stood for it,” he added.