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Saina to lead Indian charge after Sindhu pulls out of Macau Open

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SportsCafe Desk

11/29/2016

PV Sindhu has pulled out of the Macau Open after deciding to dedicate more time to her preparations for the upcoming Dubai Super Series Finals. In her absence, Saina Nehwal will lead India’s charge in Macau as she looks to bounce back from early exits at the China Open and the Hong Kong Open.

Initially, it seemed like PV Sindhu would struggle to qualify for the Dubai Super Series Finals where the top-8 players of the world face each other. Sindhu, who was 16th in the Destination Dubai Rankings with just two events left, however, went on to win the China Open, her maiden Super Series title, which earned her 11000 points and revived her chances. Despite that, Sindhu faced stiff competition for the last spot from compatriot Saina Nehwal, Japan’s Sayaka Sato and Minatsu Mitani, and Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk. However, her runner-up finish at Hong Kong saw her past the other hopefuls and won her the last plane ticket to Dubai.

Having qualified for the tournament in Dubai, the World No.9 has decided to withdraw from the Macau Open at the last moment, where she was scheduled to face China's Yue Han in her opening game on Wednesday.

"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 PV 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.

In Sindhu,s absence, Saina Nehwal, who continues her comeback from the knee surgery, will lead India’s charge in the women’s draw. Saina missed out on her place in the Super Series Finals after her quarter-final exit in Hong Kong, but is seeded No.1 at Macau, and will take on Indonesia’s Hanna Ramadini in her opening round.

In the men’s draw, Parupalli Kashyap, who had decided to take a break after appearing at the Denmark Open, will also be making a comeback of sorts. He will face Chun-Wei Chen in his opening round clash.

"After Dutch Open I was not feeling that fit and though I played Denmark, I decided to take a break to get back my full fitness and make some changes to my game. So I got around 4-5 weeks and I worked hard with Gopi, so looking forward to a good week ahead," Kashyap told PTI.

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