Kuala Lumpur: Big-name players Lee Chong Wei, Viktor Axelsen, and India’s prominent Verma brothers- Sourabh and Sameer Verma have opted to skip the Crown Group Australian Open Superseries which is scheduled to kick off at Sydney, Australia on the 20th of June.
Despite offering an attractive prize money of USD 750,000, the 2016 Korea Open champion Qiao Bin of China and Indonesia’s men’s singles player Ihsan Maulana Mustafa will also join the list as the other notable absentees.
Lee Chong Wei decided to withdraw from the tournament as he would like to have enough rest before playing at the 2017 BWF World Championship in August.
President of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria has confirmed about Lee’s withdrawal.
“Chong Wei has informed me that he would like to pull out of the Australia Open, because he would like to get enough rest and be fit for the World Championship in August,” said Zakaria.
Norza also told reporters that BAM have also dropped women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei from playing at the Australian Open as the pair has been suffering a series of sub-par results.
“I’ve asked them to up their games because their recent performances have proved to be unsatisfactory,” added Norza.
With the withdrawal of these top players, all eyes will be on Srikanth Kidambi and HS Prannoy after their stunning performances in Indonesia Open last week.