Indonesia Masters 2018: Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy pull out
India’s top two men’s singles shuttlers -- Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy -- pulled out of the Indonesia Masters 2018, which is scheduled to be held from January 23-28 at Jakarta, Indonesia. Srikanth was the second seed at this BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament and his withdrawal has promoted the reigning Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap into the main draw.
The exact reason for their withdrawal is not known. It is assumed they have opted for rest right before a hectic couple of weeks, which will see them playing at the India Open and the Badminton Asia Team Championships.
Both of them did not feature in last week’s Malaysia Masters, which had most of the top shuttlers from the world competing. Singapore Superseries winner B Sai Praneeth was the only Indian to play in the main draw and he lost in the pre-quarter-finals to the top seed and eventual champion Viktor Axelsen.
Saina, Sindhu start new season
Besides Kashyap, World No. 30 Sameer Verma is the other Indian in the main draw of the Indonesia Masters. But the lion’s share of attention will be on the two shuttle queens, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu.
The two kick off their new season at this tournament before they delight home fans with their strokes at the India Open next week. While Sindhu is seeded second, Saina is unseeded and faces the seventh seeded Chen Yufei in the opening round.
Saina and Sindhu were last seen at the Premier Badminton League, which finished in the second week of January.
In men’s doubles, the top two Indian pairs -- Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Manu-Attri-Sumeeth Reddy will be in action. There is no Indian player in women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
National Championships bronze medallist Subhankar Dey and Abhishek Yelegar will be eyeing main draw berths in men’s singles when the qualifying rounds get under way on Tuesday.