Saina, Prannoy pull out of Aus Open

Saina, Prannoy pull out of Aus Open

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have withdrawn from the Australian Open badminton, beginning on Tuesday in Sydney. The two were the top seeds in women's and men's singles.

The revised draw on Monday, however, didn't figure their names along with that of Parupalli Kashyap, who was seeded sixth. The men's draw now has B Sai Praneeth as the second seed and Sameer Verma as the fourth.

Prannoy said he pulled out due to the ankle issue which had bothered him during the Asian Badminton Championship. “I somehow managed during that time, but I felt it would not be wise to risk it by playing another tournament. My next event would be now the Thomas Cup,” said the World No 8, who became the first Indian male to win a bronze medal at Asian Badminton Championships since Anup Sridhar won bronze in 2007.

Former champion Saina, too, is believed to have taken the break to focus on her training ahead of the Thomas and Uber Cup which would be held in Bangkok from May 20-27.

It also doesn't help that under the BWF's new classification format the Australian Open has become the World Tour 300 event with a reduced prize money of $150,000. Earlier, Australian Open was a Superseries with prize money of $750,000.