Star doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who played a pivotal role in India’s historic Thomas Cup triumph, pulled out of the Thailand Open Super 500 tournament beginning on Tuesday.
It is learnt that Chirag suffered some niggles during the tournament and the pair has informed the Badminton Association of India on Monday about their decision to skip the event this week.
The world No. 8 pair had lost just one match in the Thomas Cup, against Chinese Taipei and brought India back into the contest after initial reversals against Malaysia and Denmark in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
Among Indian others in the fray, World Championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth, seeded eighth, who had stayed unbeaten with six wins at Thomas Cup, will face Brice Leverdez, while HS Prannoy, who had pulled off wins in the deciding third singles in the knockout stages, meets Malaysia’s Daren Liew.
Tokyo Olympian B Sai Praneeth will lock horns with Japan’s Koki Watanabe, while Sourabh Verma faces France’s Toma Junior Popov.
In women’s singles, double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu will be playing a qualifier, while Saina Nehwal will be pitted against Korea Kim Ga Eun.
In men’s doubles, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala, Shyam Prasad and S Sunijith, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Attri, Ishaan Bhatnagar and Sai Pratheek K, are the in the fray.
Palak Arora and Unnati Hooda, Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayanan and Ashna Roy, Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam will be looking to punch above their weight in the women’s doubles.
B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, Raju Mohamed Rehan and Jamaludeen Anees Kowsar, Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto, Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan will lead the Indian charge in mixed doubles.