Indian aces Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have decided to pull out of the Australian Open World Tour event that is scheduled to start from tomorrow. Apart from these two shuttlers, sixth-seeded Parupalli Kashyap has also pulled out from the event with B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma playing.
Till last year, the Australian Open was classified as a Superseries event with the prize money of $750,000, which was considered only below the Superseries Premier tournaments and the prestigious competitions like the world championships. The year, the Badminton World Federation has introduced it as a World Tour Super 300 event and its prize money has also reduced to $150,000.
Nehwal and Prannoy’s exclusion from the tournament was observed when the draw released on Monday had their name missing from the singles event. With Kashyap also missing from the event, only Praneeth and Verma are remaining among the Indians.
Praneeth could start the championship against 2017 New Zealand Open champion Lee Cheuk Yiu, who is scheduled to play India’s young prodigy Lakshya Sen. Lakshya won a game against Chinese legend Lin Dan in the pre-quarterfinals of New Zealand Open last week.
Among the other seeded Indian pairs who are participating in the doubles event are Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy (3rd), MR Arjun/Shlok