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Breaking Down the Breakups of Bhupathi, Paes and Their Peers

November 25, 2011

In the midst of teams getting through to the semifinals at the ATP World Tour Finals, there’s plenty of news about some pairings breaking up and/or trading partners for 2012.

Before I go into that, though, I just want to say that more times than not, I find myself baffled by those decisions, especially if one team is on the verge of a big breakthrough. If you’re making Slam semis and finals or winning Masters 1000 titles, or playing in year-end championships, you must be doing something right! Anyway, here’s what I think on some of the new pairings for next year. Of course, I wish them all luck:

Eric Butorac will be playing with Bruno Soares: Butorac and his regular partner for the past couple of years, Jean-Julien Rojer, just missed out on playing in the world championships this year. They’ve had a great run, making the semis at the Australian Open and winning three titles. Soares is a very solid doubles player, and has been so for years. I’m not exactly signed on with this new pairing, though. Soares is more of a backcourt player while Butorac plays dubs like it’s taught: go forward, forward and then forward some more! It’s going to be a bit of a shock to his system, I think, similar to when Kevin Ullyett played with Soares for a year. Traditional players and baseliners don’t mix well on a consistent basis. Speaking of Rojer, though, as I did earlier …

Jean-Julien Rojer will be playing with Aisam-Ul-Haq Quereshi: Hyphenated names aside, this could be a decent pairing. I say decent because I think they’re actually too similar: Neither one really brings it on the serve, for one. But I think they can win a couple of smaller titles over the course of the year. Maybe by the time the indoor season rolls around? But what about Quereshi’s regular partner? …

Rohan Bopanna will be playing with Mahesh Bhupathi: This one is a bit of a shocker because last I saw, the rumor was that Bopanna was going to be playing with Leander Paes, the other half of the “Indian Express” with Bhupathi. Ahhh, the old Indian Express: Why can’t those guys just stick it out and build up a surefire Hall-of-Fame career? Bhupathi and Paes make for one of the best doubles pairings that’s come around in the past 15 years. Mahesh brings the heat, while Leander has some of the best hands in the game. When they’re clicking, they make the game look easy. I think Bhupathi is going to miss that, and it’s not like when he was playing with Max Mirnyi: No, as decent as Bopanna has been playing the past few years, he’s still not an elite guy. Anyway, read this for more info.

Anyway, I know guys just feel they need a change sometimes, but breaking up young, successful partnerships, I just don’t get. I hope these moves don’t backfire too much.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. ramstamman permalink
    January 10, 2012 10:32 pm

    why did butorac and rojer break up? Why get to 9 in the world as a team and then split? butorac is an easy goign guy, what gives here?

    • January 16, 2012 7:19 am

      I have no idea, and now, even looking at the draw for the Australian I still can’t figure it out! They were thisclose to settling in as an elite teem. I wonder if Rojer saw the opportunity to play with Quereshi as a can’t-miss opportunity?

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