The last two weeks were an emotional roller-coaster ride for Sindhu. After a couple of big wins over Nozomi Okuhara and Chen Yufei in Jakarta, she finished runner-up at the Indonesia Open, which was a Super 1000 tournament. She exited in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open last week.
On both occasions, familiar foe Akane Yamaguchi turned out to be Sindhu’s nemesis.
The Indian would have been desperate to break her seven-month long title jinx but workload management has taken precedence, with the World Championships starting in Basel later in the third week of August. Sindhu is the only Indian in history of the Worlds to win multiple silver medals. She has two silver medals to go with her two bronze.
Seeded fourth, at the Thailand Open (a Super 500 tournament), Sindhu was supposed to open her women’s singles campaign against unseeded Chinese Han Yue, whom she easily overcame in the first round of Japan Open.
Other than Sindhu, Nozomi Okuhara has pulled out as well, tweeting that she was going to prepare for the Worlds.
The other Indian in fray, Saina Nehwal has been seeded seventh, and she is making a comeback of sorts after having been hampered by several injuries of late.
Saina was forced to withdraw from both the Indonesia and Japan Open on medical grounds as she is focusing on getting into shape for next month’s World Championships. She has been pitted against a qualifier in the opening round.
With the spate of late withdrawals, Saina will fancy her chances of going deep. Apart from Sindhu and Okuhara, red-hot Yamaguchi is not part of the draw as is No 1 Tai Tzu Ying. Chen Yufei is the top seed at the tournament.