PV Sindhu will have to play in Tour events in Asia to win her spot in the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals.
Reigning women’s singles world champion PV Sindhu will no longer be eligible for an automatic spot at the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals as the Badminton World Federation (BWF) scrapped that rule in its latest announcement.
Traditionally, the reigning world champions have been handed direct entries to the BWF World Tour Finals.
However, the BWF revealed that it has changed that policy for this year’s delayed tournament.
“Players will qualify for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 in Bangkok (Thailand) according to current regulations. The exception to that is current world champions will not get an automatic invitation (World Tour Regulations, Clause 8.2.3) and only points earned from World Tour tournaments will be taken into account,” the BWF said in a statement on Sunday.
However, the Tour will then resume only in January next year with two Super 1000 events (Asia I and Asia II) in Bangkok. It will then be followed by the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals, also scheduled to be held in Bangkok.
The BWF also stated that players had to take part in both Asia I and Asia II to be eligible to play in the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals.
“The players must arrive in Thailand at the required date/time (to be advised) ahead of the start of Asia Open I 2020. It is not possible for players to arrive later (e.g. during either Asia Open I 2020 or Asia Open II 2020) due to safety and quarantine requirements,” BWF’s statement added.
This announcement may affect the plans of Rio 2016 silver-medallist PV Sindhu. The Indian badminton star was slated to return to competitive action at the Denmark Open before she opted out and it is unclear when she will resume playing.
PV Sindhu is a former BWF World Tour Finals champion, having won the inaugural edition in 2018 and bowed out before the semi-finals in 2019.
In addition to announcing the revised entry barriers for the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals, the BWF also revealed that the points earned at the Super 750 Denmark Open would count towards the world rankings.
However, all such points would only be added to a player’s tally when the rankings are unfrozen, with the timeline for such an action being undecided at the moment.