Carolina Marin pulls out but Saina Nehwal begins new season at Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold

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Saina Nehwal (left) and Carolina Marin make a great rivalry in women's singles.

New Delhi: World No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain who was the runner-up at last year’s Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, has decided to pull out of the Grand Prix Gold tournament.Saina Nehwal (left) and Carolina Marin make a great rivalry in women's singles.

By winning five Superseries tournaments that included her maiden All England Open crown, together with her second World Championships title, 2015 was the most successful and also a hectic season for the 22-year-old Marin. It was believed that she has tried to reduce her tournaments in early 2016 to put more focus on the Rio Olympics.

Despite Marin’s withdrawal, the USD120, 000 Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championships to be held at Lucknow from January 26, 2016 has attracted widespread attention. India’s World No. 2 Saina Nehwal will open her new season as the defending champion at the tournament.

The top seeded Indian has been handed an easy draw as she will take on Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in her opening match and is likely to meet either second seed Sung Ji Hyun or third seed compatriot P.V Sindhu in the women’s singles final.

Meanwhile, in the Thailand Masters draw that was released two days ago, the Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal and former World Champion Ratchanok Intanon are likely to clash in the finals of the Thailand Masters as the two have been drawn in opposite halves in the USD 1, 20,000 Grand Prix Gold tournament to be held in Bangkok from February 8 to 13.

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