The 82nd Senior National Badminton Championships witnessed a series of withdrawals a day before it gets under way at Nagpur, Maharashtra on November 4, 2017. Defending champion Sourabh Verma, former champion Sameer Verma and 2016 semi-finalist Harsheel Dani all pulled out due to injuries.
Two-time national champion Sourabh Verma will not be able to defend his title after failing to recover from an ankle injury. The 24-year-old sustained it while training at Hyderabad following the Japan Open Superseries in end of September.
It forced him to skip the Denmark Open and the French Open Superseries events last month. Sourabh has just begun his on-court training this week and is yet to regain match fitness. He won the tournament in 2011 and last year.
Shoulder injury keeps Sameer out
Sourabh’s younger brother, Sameer had reigned supreme at the Nationals in 2015 but a recurring shoulder injury will keep him away from this edition. The 23-year-old began the 2017 season on a grand note by capturing his maiden Grand Prix Gold title at the Syed Modi International and even qualified for the World Championships for the first time.
However, the troubled shoulder has barred him from playing a full season. The World No. 18 was out of action after the Singapore Open Superseries in April and returned to the circuit only in July. His season was once more interrupted after the Japan Open in September due to which he had to pull out of the Denmark Open and the French Open.
He was hoping to get fit in time for the Nationals but has not been able to recover fully yet.
Harsheel Dani too did well at the last National Championships where he finished as a semi-finalist. This time a knee surgery has robbed him of an opportunity to participate at the flagship event of BAI.
Nevertheless, the Nationals will be a star-studded tournament this time. All eyes will be on the Denmark Open and French Open champion Srikanth Kidambi, who leads the challenge in men’s singles. HS Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram and Sai Praneeth too will be vying for the title.
In women’s singles, former champions Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will be taking part.