Paes to miss French Open, gets support in custody battle from Bhupathi

by: Kamakshi Tandon | May 14, 2014

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AP

Leander Paes will reportedly miss the French Open following the ongoing custody battle over his eight-year-old daughter.

Indian media says the Grand-Slam winning doubles player will instead train in the United States, preparing for Wimbledon.

Paes has been involved in a public battle with his estranged partner for the past two weeks over their daughter, Aiyana, with both sides bitterly criticizing the other's parenting.

Paes, accused of intimidating behavior, found an unexpected ally in former doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi, with whom he has often clashed. Bhupathi also mentioned that he would be retiring at Wimbledon, having delayed his original decision to stop playing by the beginning of this season.

Bhupathi said that in his experience, Paes "is far from abusive" and he "can never get violent."

"Leander and I may have had a difference of opinion and split, but this is a very emotional moment in his life and I'd like to support him. I've been through a divorce myself and realize how tough this can be," Bhupathi said. "I have met Aiyana a few times. Leander has brought her along to our practice sessions on the Tour as well as during the Davis Cup and I can confidently say that Aiyana and Leander are extremely close. He is a doting father and she loves him a lot."

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