What’s the story?
The first Superseries tournament post the World Championships - the Victor Korea Open - will see two of India’s key shuttlers missing from the action as Saina Nehwal and Srikanth Kidambi have both pulled out of this Seoul tournament, scheduled to begin on September 12.
The men’s singles India No. 1 Srikanth has confirmed to Sportskeeda that there are no injury concerns as such but he has opted to take some rest. Saina, on the other hand, is said to be recovering from a thigh strain which necessitated the withdrawal.
The chief national coach Pullela Gopichand has meanwhile confirmed to The Times of India on their pullout, adding that the duo is expected to be back at the next Superseries tournament in Japan.
“They are only minor injuries but will take little time to heal. We thought it would be better to skip Korea but they will be back in Japan,” Gopichand said.
In case you didn’t know...
Saina has reunited with Gopichand exactly three years after she parted ways with him to train under Vimal Kumar at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore.
The heart of the matter
After joining forces with her former mentor, Nehwal has been able to do only light training as pain in her leg prevented her from doing the heavy workout. The former World No. 1 has immersed into full training only from September 7.
And that is the reason why she needed some time before she could feel confident to participate in the elite level tournaments.
Since there are six Superseries events still left in the 2017 calendar, the top shuttlers have been careful not to overdo things. It was during this swing of the year in 2016 that Srikanth suffered from the ankle injury that kept him on the sidelines for three months. His decision to withdraw is thus understandable.
The Japan Open Superseries is scheduled to begin in Tokyo on September 19.
Nothing can be more important that a player’s health. Since performances in each of the next Superseries tournaments will be vital in contributing to a player’s qualification at the prestigious year-ending Dubai World Superseries Finals, it is advisable to put fitness over participation.
That will only make them more confident when they face the world’s best at the remaining Superseries tournaments this year.