Kolkata: The crashing exit of Saina Nehwal in the quarter-finals of the All England Open Badminton Championship few days back wasn’t enough a heartbreak for her fans. The Indian badminton star has opted out of the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold slated to start in Basel this week itself. The tournament will be held between March 14 and 19. The top seed in the women’s singles section, Saina’s withdrawal from the tournament would thus leave all the burden on the shoulders of Sree Krishna Priya Kudaravalli (19) as she would be the lone Indian to compete in the tournament from that category.
Ever since her knee surgery in 2016, Saina has planned her schedule in such a way that she has enough time for rest after every tournament, where she has progressed into the knockout stages. This move hence seems justified in the light of the fact that she progressed to the quarter-finals of the All England Open Badminton Championship before being defeated narrowly by Sung Ho of South Korea, the same opponent she had beaten way back in 2011 to get the gold in the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold. Saina won the Swiss Open in 2011, and came back the very next year to successfully defend the title as she went toe-to-toe with former world number 1 Wang Shixian in the finals of the competition. She beat the Chinese star 21-19 and 21-16.
Saina’s next tournament would be the Indian Open Superseries starting on March 28. She has pleasant memories in this competition, which she had won in 2015, that pushed her up to the top of the world rankings. Hopefully, this break will give her the time to bounce back afresh. A serious injury can threaten one’s career and Saina quite justifiably is picking and choosing. She is a precious talent and over exposure can boomerang. Hope she keeps it in mind.
(With inputs from sportskeeda.com)