London Olympic Games bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal has yet again decided to skip the country’s only Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championship in memory of Syed Modi, starting here on Tuesday.
The world No. 10, who won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold on Sunday, has reportedly decided to take a short break to continue her rehab. “Saina isn’t coming for the event as she needs more rest,” an organiser told HT on Monday.
In 2012, Saina had pulled out of the $1,20,000 prize-money event in a dramatic manner. She was up 20-18 in the second game after winning the first against Russia’s Ksenia Palikarpova, but suddenly decided to retire.
Saina went up to the chair umpire and said here knee was hurting, and after a brief enquiry by the technical chair, she left the court waving to the crowd. Before the All England Championship this March, she is expected to play the German Open Grand Prix in February-March.
“It all depends on my fitness and how good I feel. I need a few good weeks to be at my best which I didn’t get after I recovered from rehab,” Saina was quoted as saying on her withdrawal. “I just came out of a major injury and I can’t push my knee with back-to-back tournaments and get injured again,” she added.
Top-seeded PV Sindhu
In Saina’s absence, Rio Olympic Games silver-medallist PV Sindhu is expected to have a free run as most of the top stars have also decided to skip the event.
Among the top eight in women’s singles, World No. 6 Sindhu has been given top billing, while other prominent names to figure in the list include Beartiz Corrales (Spain - 23rd) and Ksenia Polikarpova (Russia – 57th).
An organiser attributed such a poor response to the tournament to the 10-day gap between the conclusion of the Modi tourney and the commencement of the Premier Badminton League. “Had the gap between the two events been less, more foreign shuttlers would have come,” he said.
Men’s singles: 1-Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha), 2-Hans Kristian Vittinghus (Den), 3-Kidambi Srikanth (Ind), 4-Ajay Jayaram (Ind), 5-Anders Antonsen (Den), 6-HS Prannoy (Ind), 7-Zulfadli Zulkiffli (Mas), 8-Sameer Verma (Ind), 9-B Sai Praneeth (Ind), 10-Wei Feng Chong (Mas), 11-Sourabh Varma (Ind), 12-Emil Holst (Den), 13-Misha Zilberman (Isr), 14-Parupalli Kashyap (Ind), 16-Harsheel Dani (Ind).
W omen’s singles: 1-PV Sindhu (Ind), 2-Beartiz Corrales (Esp), 3-Fitriani Fitriani (Ina), 4-Dinar Dyah Ayustine (Ina), 5-Hanna Ramadini (Ina), 6-Ruthvika Shivani Gadde (Ind), 7-Ksenia Polikarpova (Rus).