Indian shuttler Srikanth Kidambi has withdrawn from the upcoming BWF Super 300 event Australian Open. With this, the athlete is out of contention for a berth at the World Tour Finals (WTF), which he could have achieved provided he participated in the Open and went on to win it.
Earlier, the likes of Lakshya Sen and doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankreddy/Chirag Shetty announced that they were done with their shuttling for this calendar year, and that they would be back next year. Both Sen and Satwik/Chirag played Hylo Open as their last tournament in 2022. Same goes for Kidambi.
The 29-year-old defeated some top players like Lu Guang Zu and Jonatan Christie to reach the semi-finals of the Hylo Open, but Anthony Ginting put a stop to his dream run with a straight set victory (21-18, 21-15). This 3rd placed finish was the Indian's best performances on the BWF World Tour, along with the same results in the Korea Open and Swiss Open.
After PV Sindhu's official withdrawal from the WTF owing to injury, HS Prannoy will be the only Indian to participate in the Finals across all categories, scheduled to take place in Guangzhou, China.
Sameer Verma leads Indian challenge in Australia
India's challenge at Australian Open will be led by Sameer Verma, who is coming back from a long injury lay-off. He will open his campaign against Nathan Tang.
Sameer, who is a former world no. 11, had won three BWF tournaments -- Swiss Open, Hyderabad Open and Syed Modi International in 2018 to qualify for the World Tour Final but he lost his rhythm after that, followed by COVID-induced break.
His return last year was shortlived as he had to retire from Denmark Open quarterfinals with a calf injury. He also had issues with his hip and shoulder.
He looked in good touch during his three-game win over world no. 8 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the French Open.
Mithun Manjunath, who had reached the finals at Orleans Masters Super 100 event and two international challenge in Nagpur and Bengaluru, will be up against second seed Loh Kean Yew of Singapore.
In women's singles, Tanya Hemanth will be up against Goh Jin Wei of Malaysia and Anwesha Gowda will meet local player Pitchaya Elysia Viravong.
In doubles, women's pair of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker and men's combination of Hariharan Amsakarunan and Ruban Kumar Rethinasabapathi will also be in the fray.
(With PTI inputs)