Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap withdraw from Denmark Open

The husband-wife badminton pair have decided to resume their season with the Asian leg of the BWF World Tour in January 2021.

By Rahul Venkat ·

Former world No. 1 Saina Nehwal and her husband and fellow shuttler Parupalli Kashyap have pulled out of the Denmark Open.

The Super 750 event in Odense, Denmark will usher in the return of international badminton from October 13 but Saina, the London Olympic bronze-medallist, won’t be a part of it.

“I withdrew from the Denmark Open. I have decided I will start the season from January (2021) with the Asian (BWF World) Tour,” Saina Nehwal told PTI on Tuesday.

“There are no injury issues, but I felt it would be better if I could play three tournaments at one go, which the Asian Tour will provide.”

Parupalli Kashyap, who also doubles up as Saina Nehwal’s coach at times, felt the same way.

“I think it is not worth the risk to go all that way for one tournament. It's just better to start the season afresh in January,” said the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had initially planned for Denmark to host the Thomas and Uber Cups post the Denmark Open and also subsequent events of the 2020 BWF World Tour.

However, they rescheduled the Thomas and Uber Cups due to several countries opting out. The BWF also shifted the remainder of the 2020 BWF World Tour to a three-tournament Asian leg in Thailand.

Saina Nehwal’s withdrawal means there will be no Indian players in the women’s events after world No. 7 and Rio 2016 silver-medallist PV Sindhu had opted out earlier.

It would also not affect Nehwal’s hopes of making the Tokyo Olympics cut next year as the Super 750 Denmark Open would not have offered her any ranking points to break into the top-16 in the ‘Race to Tokyo’ rankings. Nehwal currently sits at No. 22.

The men’s events meanwhile will still feature four Indians in former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram, Subhankar Dey, and rising star Lakshya Sen.