Macau : London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal will lead India’s charge in the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament which begins here today after three-time champion P V Sindhu pulled out of the event to prepare herself for the Dubai Super Series Finals.
The Rio Olympics silver medallist, Sindhu, who is the defending champion here, was originally scheduled to take on China’s Yue Han in the opening match of the tournament on Wednesday.
But Sindhu, seeded second, has withdrawn from the USD 120,000 event at the last moment keeping in mind the Dubai Super Series Finals as she wanted to be fresh after playing back-to-back tournaments — China Open and Hong Kong Open.
“She had originally planned to play at Macau Open but after she qualified for Dubai Super Series Finals, we have decided to skip the event as otherwise she will get not enough time to prepare for the Dubai event,” Sindhu’s father P V Ramana told PTI.
“Winning or losing is not important but at least she should prepare well to compete in such a high-level tournament,” he added.
The Dubai Superseries final will be played from December 14-18 where only the world’s top eight players make the cut.
Sindhu had recently clinched her maiden Super Series Premier title at China Open and then reached the finals at the Hong Kong Super series in the last two weeks.
In Sindhu’s absence, compatriot and top seed Saina, who is slowly and steadily getting back her bearing after recovering from a serious knee injury which affected her Olympic campaign three months back, will spearhead.