India badminton No. 1 PV Sindhu has finally pulled out of Denmark Open. The tournament, scheduled between October 13-28, was slotted between Thomas and Uber Cup and Denmark Masters, both of which have been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Saina Nehwal however intends to take part in the Denmark Open in spite of the risk of travelling amidst the pandemic and stringent quarantine protocols.
“Going only for the Denmark Open is not worth taking the risk given the number of pandemic cases there,” PV Sindhu told the Sportstar.
“And if I were to play in the Denmark Open, on my return back home I would have to be self-quarantined for 14 days, which again would have meant a break in my training,” the world No. 7 explained.
Sindhu had earlier withdrawn her name from the Uber Cup as well before a request from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma changed her mind.
PV Sindhu is now eyeing a return to the international circuit with Asia Open-I and Asia Open-II, expected to be held in Thailand in November, and has already sent her entries for the Super 1000 events.
Apart from Sindhu, India’s first-choice women's doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa and the men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy have also withdrawn their names from the Denmark Open.
“Had the Thomas and Uber Cup happened, we would have travelled,” N Sikki Reddy told ESPN, “But to go all the way just for one tournament doesn't seem to be worth the risk.”
Saina Nehwal to headline India in Denmark
Bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics, Saina Nehwal will be the biggest Indian name at the women’s event in Odense. She made her intention to participate at the Denmark Open by signing a consent form to travel.
After the Thomas and Uber Cup got postponed owing to a series of late withdrawals amidst the pandemic, the BAI has asked all the Indian badminton players to travel abroad at their own risk.
The shuttlers planning to go to Denmark for the $750,000 World Tour event will have to give their written consent to the federation, taking full responsibility for their travel and participation.
Subhankar Dey had last played a competitive match at the Barcelona Spain Masters in February and the world No. 46 is keen to get back on the badminton court.
“Sports like tennis and football have resumed and it's now time to restart badminton,” Subhankar Dey told ESPN. “At least the Denmark Open is happening.
“I miss competition. I understand health is important, but we need to accept this situation. It's been long. So I have decided to play," he reasoned.