6 Indians back out of China Open

A week after India completed its 82nd Senior National Badminton Championships, 6 top Indian shuttlers have withdrawn on the eve of the China Open, two of these effectively assuring they […]

A week after India completed its 82nd Senior National Badminton Championships, 6 top Indian shuttlers have withdrawn on the eve of the , two of these effectively assuring they will not qualify for Dubai.

India completed its Senior National Badminton Championships last Wednesday for the second time in  2017.  The Indian press had reported on world #2 Srikanth Kidambi’s intention to skip the China Open Premier event in Fuzhou but he was joined yesterday on the withdrawal list by almost the entire Indian men’s singles contingent, including Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, Ajay Jayaram, and Parupalli Kashyap.  This cuts a once-teeming legion of Indian shuttlers in the discipline down to just Prannoy H. S. and Sameer’s brother Sourabh, who won the 82nd and 81st national titles respectively this year.

For Sai Praneeth (pictured left) in particular, the withdrawal is tantamount to backing out of the race to the in Dubai.  The current world #15 currently stands 13th in the race for a mere 8 spots in Dubai but he is one of five shuttlers within 5,000 points of three shuttlers currently in the top 8.  With no points from Fuzhou, the Indian will be mathematically eliminated if Ng Ka Long and Wong Wing Ki merely step on court in Fuzhou and Hong Kong and if Lee Chong Wei wins just a single match.  Srikanth has already clinched his Dubai spot and will qualify even if he sits out Hong Kong next week as well.  Prannoy is 3,000 points behind Lee Chong Wei and all will depend on how he plays over the next two weeks.

The only other discipline where Indian shuttlers withdrew was mixed doubles, and Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra (pictured right) will not be competing there.  They were much farther off the pace for Dubai but still had a fighting chance, whereas now, even if they could win the , the #8 spot will be outside their reach if Kazuno/Kurihara so much as appear for their first round match tomorrow.

Sikki Reddy is presently in tentative qualification for her first ever Superseries Finals appearance in women’s doubles with Ashwini Ponnappa and they begin their campaign in China on Wednesday against a brand-new pairing of past and current World Junior Champions Chae Yoo Jung and Baek Ha Na of Korea.  The Indians are currently in 10th position on the Superseries standings but are on track to qualify as the top 8 contains 4 Japanese pairs, of whom only two will qualify.  However, they also have both the Korea and French Open champions hot on their tail so they will need strong performances on the Chinese coast to confirm their trip to the UAE in December.

Click here for the complete draws and results for the China Open

Photos: Badmintonphoto

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net