The BWF World Tour Finals will be held between December 12 and 16 in Guangzhou, China. The top eight players (and pairs ) across the five disciplines of badminton will play for the season-ending glory.
But in what has come as a surprise to many badminton fans, Carolina Marin has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury.
Marin has won four tournaments this year, including the European Championships and World Championships. The World Championship Gold Medalists are given a direct invitation to play at the tournament.
Marin has cited a niggle in her right leg as the reason for her withdrawal.
Sayaka Takahashi, ranked ninth in the 'race to Guangzhou' rankings, will not be invited as the other two Japanese players Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi have qualified ahead of her. Only two players per member nation are allowed to participate in the tournament.
The player next in line was 10th-ranked He Bing Jiao of China, but even she won't be able to play at the tournament due to injury.
Due to this, the 11th-ranked Beiwen Zhang of USA has now been given the invitation.
Here is a complete list of players qualified for the season-ending finals in women's singles:
1. Tai Tzu Ying - Chinese Taipei
2. Akane Yamaguchi - Japan
3. Nozomi Okuhara - Japan
4. Chen Yufei - China
5. Ratchanok Intanon - Thailand
6. Pusarla V Sindhu - India
7. Li Michelle - Canada
8. Beiwen Zhang - USA
Tai Tzu Ying is the overwhelming favourite to win the title.
The BWF have had a very packed calendar this year as they increased the number of tournaments to be played by the top 10 players in the world. Moreover, with the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships happening in the same year, the players hardly had any time to rest and recover.
Recently, Tai Tzu Ying also seemed to be struggling with a back injury as she retired from her semifinal encounter against Nozomi Okuhara at the Hongkong Open. Many players around the world have requested the BWF to pay more attention to the health of the players.
Carolina Marin, meanwhile, will next be seen playing in PBL season 4, which starts from December 22. She will represent the Pune 7 Aces.Published 02 Dec 2018, 10:46 IST