Sania Mirza, who got a wild card entry for the Olympics, Tuesday indicated she has no problem in partnering Leander Paes in the mixed doubles event in London but hit out at the AITA for using her as a "bait" in the selection row.
Moments after she was handed a wild card along with veteran Rushmi Chakravarthy in the women's doubles event for the London Games, Sania said although she preferred Mahesh Bhupathi, she is ready to partner Paes in the larger interest of the country.
"As an Indian woman belonging to the 21st century, what I find disillusioning is the humiliating manner in which I was put up as a bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis," Sania said in a statement in an apparent reference to Paes.
The 25-year-old also hit out at the way she was "offered in compensation to partner one of the feuding champions purely in order to lure him into accepting to play with a men's player he does not wish to play with!"
"This kind of blatant humiliation of Indian womanhood needs to be condemned even if it comes from the highest controlling body of tennis in our country," she added.
Paes has been paired with 206-ranked Vishu Vardhan in the men's doubles for the Olympics.
Paes had demanded a written assurance from Sania that she would play only with him instead of Mahesh Bhupathi in the mixed doubles.
Paes, who it is believed, was waiting for announcement of the wild card, will now have to clear his stand quickly.
Sania, too, kept mum on the issue till now as she was not consulted before deciding the combination and it will be interesting to see if she also takes a stand on her combination with Paes.
While the Hyderabadi had earlier expressed her desire to partner Bhupathi, the AITA broke the recently-crowned French Open combination to appease Paes.
AITA had to bow down to Bhupathi and Bopanna's demand that they be paired as team for the men's doubles event, following their unwillingness to play with Paes.
Paes was then paired with Vardhan in lieu of a mixed doubles pairing with Sania.