Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi have withdrawn from the upcoming 2023 China Open that is going to be held at Changzhou between 5th to 10th September.
Given that the China Open is one of only four Super 1000 tournaments on the Badminton World Federation World Tour circuit, the decision comes as a surprise. The tournament offers impressive prize money, but more importantly it is a crucial event to earn ranking points for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi have both been in poor form in the 2023 season. PV Sindhu staged a comeback in January after a few months away from the court due to an injury, but has struggled to find her momentum since.
She has faced multiple first-round exits at the hands of lower-ranked opponents, and slipped out of the top 10 for the first time in a decade. Most recently, she went down without a fight against long-time rival Nozomi Okuhara at the BWF World Championships.
On the other hand, the best Srikanth Kidambi has been able to do this year has been a couple of quarter-final finishes.
The former world number one suffered a shock first-round exit at the hands of Japan's Kento Nishimoto at the BWF World Championships. This marked the first time that Kidambi hasn't made it past the opening round of the world championships.
With a string of disappointing results for both of them, it is likely that PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi are taking a break to regroup and reorganize.
Given that both the players are part of the badminton squad for the Asian Games, they might be taking this time to better prepare themselves mentally and physically for the challenge.
India at the China Open 2023
Even with PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi out of the running for the China Open Super 1000, India has quite a few players in the mix for the tournament.
HS Prannoy will lead the charge in men's singles. He will be joined by compatriots Lakshya Sen and Priyanshu Rajawat.
Without PV Sindhu at the helm, shuttlers Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvik Bansod will be the only Indians in the women's singles category.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be on the hunt for their second Super 1000 title in the men's doubles event, while the duo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will try to leave a lasting impression.
Sumeeth Reddy/Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa/Rohan Kapoor will be the only two Indian pairs in the mixed doubles category.