Thailand Open champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have withdrawn from the upcoming BWF World Championships, to recover from their respective injuries with an eye on the hectic schedule ahead.
Satwiksairaj was suffering with a shoulder strain even during the Thailand Open while Shetty has suffered an abdomen injury; both need a couple of weeks of rehabilitation before starting to train again.
“We were carrying the injuries during the Thailand Open and they haven’t healed yet. We could have played (world championship) but there was a chance of increasing it as it hasn’t healed completely. So we decided not to play and concentrate on next set of tournaments,” Chirag told Scroll.in from Hyderabad.
The promising duo were awarded an opening round bye when the draw was released.
“We spoke to the coaches and physio and they said if we play then it can aggravate and we might miss out a month or two. So being the pre-olympic year, we decided not to take any risk,” Chirag additionally told PTI. “We will be playing the China Open and Korea Open in September.”
In the Thailand Open, Chirag and Satwik emerged victorious from a draw that saw the participation of nine of the top-10 world ranked pairs.
Also pulling out of the tournament was mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy as the former is struggling with a leg injury.
These withdrawals mean that India will not have any representation in mixed doubles with Satwiksairaj and Ashwini Ponnappa unable to compete as a pair as well.
Elsewhere, India’s biggest medal hopes have been handed a fairly easy initial draw. PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal both have a first round bye. Fifth seed Sindhu is likely to face second-seed Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-finals while Saina who’s seeded eighth could come up against Chinese fourth-seed Chen Yu Fei at the last eight stage. The two could face each other in the semi-finals after a re-draw placed them in the same half.