Thailand Super Open: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty pull out, Saina Nehwal too withdraws
Satwik-Chirag had to pull out of Thailand Open as Satwiksairaj failed to recover from his hip injury and will now aim the All-England Championship.
Bangkok: Commonwealth Games champion Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will miss the Thailand Open Super 300 badminton tournament after the former failed to completely recover from his hip injury suffered recently.
Satwik had sustained the injury during the India Open Super 750 tournament earlier in the month and was forced to withdraw midway from the tournament in New Delhi.
“It hasn’t healed yet, so won’t be playing Thailand,” Chirag, one-half of the world number six pair, told PTI.
“Mostly we are targeting All England Championship now,” he added.
The top-seeded Indian duo, who reached the semifinals of the season-opening Malaysia Open super 1000, was scheduled to face Chinese Taipei’s Su Ching Heng and Ye Hong Wei in the opening round.
The USD 210,000 tournament, in fact, lost a bit of sheen with many Indian shuttlers, including former number 1 Saina Nehwal and Malvika Bansod, also pulling out of the event.
While Saina was supposed to face Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, Bansod was scheduled to open against top seed and former world champion Ratchanok Inthanon.
With the duo pulling out, Anupama Upadhyaya and Ashmita Chaliha are the only two women in the singles event but they will face off in an all-Indian opener.
In men’s doubles, world no. 34 Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala also decided to give it a miss, leaving Ishaan Bhatnagar and Sai Pratheek K, and PS Ravikrishna and Sankar Prasad Udayakumar in the fray now.
However, India will have a host of players, led by Tokyo Olympian B Sai Praneeth, competing in men’s singles.
While former Singapore Open champion Praneeth, who has slumped to world no. 51, will face an uphill task against second seed Lu Guang Zu of China, Sameer Verma, who is also on a comeback trail after recovering from injury, meets another Chinese in six seed Li Shi Feng.
Priyanshu Rajawat, who had reached the main draw at Indonesia Masters last week, will square off against Heo Kwang Hee of Korea, Odisha Open champion Kiran George is pitted against Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hao Lee, and Orleans Masters runners-up Mithun Manjunath will cross sword with fifth seed Japanese Kenta Nishimoto.
In women’s doubles, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will fight it out against Japan’s Rena Miyaura and Ayako Sakuramoto but the new pairing of Shruti Mishra and N Sikki Reddy pulled out.
Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa will face China’s Tan Ning and Xia Yu Ting, while Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker too are in the competition.
In mixed doubles, B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa and eighth seed Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha are also in the fray.
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