PETALING JAYA: The Denmark Open badminton championships have been dealt a further blow when India’s singles ace Saina Nehwal and her husband P. Kashyap became the latest stars to withdraw.
The couple decided against competing in the US$750,000 (RM3.18mil) meet which begins in Odense on Tuesday because they were reluctant to travel to Europe just to feature in one event.
Saina was aiming to compete in three back-to-back events in Europe, which includes the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals (Oct 3-11) and Den-mark Masters (Oct 20-25), both of which have been postponed and cancelled respectively following a spate of withdrawals by top Asian nations.
“There is no injury issue but if three tournaments were there it would have made sense,” Saina told the Press Trust of India.The 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist had won the Denmark Open once when she defeated Germany’s Juliane Schenk in the 2012 final.
She made it to the final again in 2018 but was denied by Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying.
Kashyap, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games champion, too, felt it wasn’t ideal to play in Denmark and opted to compete only when the Asian legs resume in January.
“It’s not worth the risk to go all the way for one tournament,” explained Kashyap, the world No. 24. It is better to start the season afr-esh participating in the Asia legs.”
Already lacking in star power, the tournament was handed a massive blow when a total of 14 Japanese shuttlers including world No. 1 Kento Momota announced their withdrawal despite having confirmed their entry initially.
The absence of these stars are expected to benefit some of the lower-ranked players in the reserve lists.
The four slots made available in the men’s singles competition, for instance, could now go to world No. 96 Max Weisskirchen of Germany, Belgian Maxime Moreels (No. 97), American Timothy Lam (No. 101) and Hungarian Gergely Krausz (No. 103).