Hong Kong: World No. 2 women’s singles shuttler Saina Nehwal who fell short in last week’s China Open women’s final against Li Xuerui, has pulled out of the USD 350,000 Hong Kong Open citing severe pain in her legs.
Although Nehwal achieved the world No. 1 ranking for 9 consecutive weeks this year, but the Indian ace has only been able to clinch one Superseries title this year at India Open in March.
According to India’s media, Nehwal’s father Harvir Singh said that she was experiencing severe pain in her leg and was moving with difficulty during her clash with Li Xuerui in China Open final.
“She couldn’t even walk properly after the final,” said Singh.
Nehwal’s coach Vimal Kumar also agreed that the current world No. 2 women’s shuttler should take some time off to focus on her recovery.
Despite the bad news, there’s still hope for the Indian team. Two-time world championship bronze medalist P.V. Sindhu will spearhead India’s challenge in the women’s singles event. However, she was handed a tough first round match against world No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain in her bid for the Hong Kong open title. Fortunately, Sindhu had a solid record against Marin, winning 2 of their 5 previous meetings. She defeated Marin 21-15, 18-21, 21-17 about a month ago in the semi-finals of Denmark Open on October 17, 2015.
In addition to Saina Nehwal, Wang Shixian of China who suffered knee injury during last week’s China Open semi-finals face off against Li Xuerui, also withdrew from Hong Kong Open and Aya Ohori of Japan will fill the spot vacated by Wang.