Leander Paes has admitted that losing in the opening round of the mens doubles at the Rio Olympics is a tough one to take, but believes he has it in him to challenge the human spirit and prolong his professional career till the Tokyo Games in 2020.Paes and his partner Rohan Bopanna went down 6-4, 7-6 to the Polish pair of?Lukasz Kubot and Marci Matkowski, bringing an early end to the 43-year-olds Rio campaign; Bopanna still has the mixed-doubles event with Sania Mirza to look forward to.?Paes road to Rio had not been smooth; Bopanna had initially chosen Saketh Myneni as his doubles partner, before the AITA overruled his request and picked Paes instead. The controversy took a new turn on Thursday when Indias Davis Cup coach and non-playing captain Zeeshan Ali said he was in the dark about Paes whereabouts, suggesting that he had had no contact with him of late.?Paes, though, offered an explanation, while also?dismissing suggestions that he and Bopanna did not have enough time to practice with each other.Theres a lot of he says, she says going around. I had mentioned to Zeeshan during the Davis Cup that Im playing a Challenger in Europe, and I won that challenger. I also mentioned to him that Im playing the World Team Tennis, he knew that, Paes told ESPN.?For me, the management, team and AITA always knew that I was playing matches coming into the Olympic. I was never supposed to be here on the 1st. I actually came here early to get some practice.Preparation is not about practice, its about playing matches. You can practice till the cows come home, but when youre under the gun, serving down break points or serving for the match, when youre playing pressure points, thats the best preparation for the Olympics.Paes felt that he and Bopanna were simply beaten by the better team and that the outcome of the match could have been different had one or two points gone their way in the second set.?As an athlete, my job is to make sure Im 100% ready when the bell rings, he said.?I served well today, I returned well. We played well as a team, but lost to a better, hotter team. If Rohan and I had got one or two more points in the second set, taking it to a third, the chips would have changed. Now were the fitter team.In sport, sometimes its easy to take potshots at someone when they lose or when theyre a soft target. You know that when youre playing on the pro-tour and winning games with confidence, when you come into an event with confidence, you bring that confidence into the team.With the Rio Games, Paes has now appeared at seven Olympics - a national record - but does he have it in him to make that eight in Tokyo? Especially with age and recent results not in his favour??His answer is emphatic.?It depends on perspective. I won three grand slams last year, and I won one this year. My tally is now up to 18. As far as some people might say my doubles ranking might have dropped, or oh hes 43, they dont understand what it takes to win one grand slam. As long as I can keep winning, I want to get to 20 Grand Slams.Four years is a long way away [for Tokyo]. I take it one day at a time. I had a tough one today. But the door is not closed. I want to enjoy the experience of an Olympics. Yes, Ive created a world record for myself, and for my team, and for India, but the one person who has motivated me always is my father. The reason Im pushing for seven Olympics or even eight, is my father.One of my partners was Martina Navaratilova. She has taught me about how we can persevere as simple human beings, to challenge the human body, mind and spirit. And if I can do it, I can motivate others that they can be champions too, no matter where you come from. Custom Flyers T-shirts . They hope to persuade the other team owners and commissioner Roger Goodell to put pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to drop the nickname they find offensive. "Given the way the meeting transpired," Ray Halbritter, an Oneida representative and leader of the "Change the Mascot Campaign," said Wednesday, "it became somewhat evident they were defending the continued use of the name. Bernie Parent Jersey Large . 9. 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PITTSBURGH -- If this was the end of Ivan Novas brief time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he went out on a good note.The right-hander allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings Thursday night as the Pirates and Chicago Cubs played to the first tie game in the major leagues since 2005 when rain forced the teams to stop in the sixth inning with the score 1-all.The Cubs and Pirates arent scheduled to play again this season, and the game wont be made up because it doesnt affect postseason positioning. So instead of becoming a suspended game, the stats count and it was declared a tie -- the first since Houston and Cincinnati went seven innings on June 30, 2005, before rain halted them.After losing his previous two starts, Nova limited the Cubs to four hits with five strikeouts and no walks.It was the final start of the season for Nova, who went 5-2 in 11 starts after being acquired Aug. 1 from the New York Yankees in a trade. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.I had a really, really, really good time here and hopefully we can work it out to where I can stay, Nova said. Im excited for free agency, though, and well see what happens.Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said last week that he has been in talks with Novas representative about a possible extension.I leave that to my agents, Nova said. I really know anything about it.Pittsburgh is 78-80 and needs to sweep its season-ending three-game series at St. Louis that starts Friday night in order to extend its streak of winning seasons to four. The Pirates had 20 straight losing seasons from 1993-2012, the record for major North American team professional sports.Willson Contreras had two hits and scored for the NL Central champion Cubs, who have already clinched the best record in the majors. Josh Bell hit a sacrifice fly for the Pirates.The Cubs werent around to talk about it as they were already dressed and out of the clubhouse by the time they game was officially called following a delay of 1 hoour, 23 minutes.ddddddddddddA tie, I dont remember every being involved in one at the major league level, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. Its definitely something different.Tim Federowicz hit a sacrifice fly in the Cubs second. Pittsburgh tied it in the third.Cubs rookie Rob Zastryzny gave up one unearned run in 3 2/3 innings in his first major league start after beginning his career with seven relief appearances.Manager Joe Maddon opted to use all relievers as he prepares his team for the postseason.FOOTBALL HEROMaddon wore a No. 12 Lafayette College football jersey during his pregame meeting with reporters. It was the same number he wore when he was a quarterback for Leopards.The Cubs traveling party planned to wear football jerseys for their flight to Cincinnati following the game.TRAINERS ROOMCubs: RHP Jason Hammel (elbow tightness) has been scratched from his scheduled start Friday night at Cincinnati but may be able to pitch in a simulated game Tuesday and be ready for the NL playoffs next week. .. . LF Chris Coghlan (sprained left ankle) did not play after being injured Wednesday night when he crashed into the fence chasing a fly ball but could return Friday. ... OF Jorge Soler (strained right side) will not play at Cincinnati but could participate in the simulated game.Pirates: LF Starling Marte (lower back strain) and SS Jordy Mercer (strained right forearm) will not play in the final series. . RF Gregory Polanco (strained neck) missed his second game in a row.UP NEXTCubs: RHP Jake Buchanan (0-0 9.00 ERA), who has made one relief appearance for Chicago after going 12-8 for Triple-A Iowa, will start Friday against Reds RHP Josh Smith (5-2. 4.77).Pirates: Rookie RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 4.91) faces Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (15-9, 3.15) and will be looking for his first major league win in his fourth career start. ' ' '