PV Sindhu’s return to court delayed as badminton ace pulls out of Uber Cup

The reigning badminton world champion’s last tournament was in March at the All England Open.

By Subhayan Dutta

Indian badminton fans will have to wait longer to see PV Sindhu in competitive action again after the star shuttler decided to withdraw from the Uber Cup, scheduled to be held in Denmark early next month.

Sindhu, however, intends to compete in the Super 750 Badminton World Federation (BWF) tournaments immediately after the Uber Cup, which are the Denmark Open and Denmark Masters.

“She will skip the Uber Cup because of personal reasons,” her father PV Ramana told the Hindustan Times.

“As of now, she will send her entry for the next two tournaments and decide based on the situation,” Ramana added.

According to The Hindu, PV Sindhu has informed the Badminton Association of India (BAI) about her decision.

The Thomas and Uber Cups in Aarhus is slated to begin on October 3. The Denmark Open is scheduled to start on October 13 and the Denmark Masters a week later.

The former world No. 1 is one of the eight elite Indian badminton players to have started training at the Pullela Gopichand Academy after the government lifted lockdown restrictions from sports centres last month.

PV Sindhu.

Team selection on world rankings

The Indian teams have been handed favourable draws at the Thomas and Uber Cups.

While the men’s team has been paired with hosts Denmark, Germany, and Algeria in Group C, the women are clubbed alongside China, Germany, and France in Group D.

Picking the Indian teams will not be easy since there is no central national camp.

While B Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth, N Sikki Reddy and few others are training at the Gopichand Academy, veteran doubles star Ashwini Ponnappa is practising at the Padukone academy in Bengaluru and Chirag Shetty is in Mumbai.

Apart from them, men’s doubles star Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is currently in quarantine at his home in Amalapuram after he tested positive for coronavirus last week.

Hence, the national body has been left with little choice but to select players based on their world rankings for the Thomas and Uber Cup.

With the BWF organizing international tournaments amidst travel restrictions, the shuttlers will have to stay in a bio-secure bubble for eight weeks, of which six will be a competition period.

Putting strict safety protocols into place for the competitions, the badminton calendar will resume with three tournaments in Denmark before all the players are transported to Asia for two more tournaments and year-end Tour Finals.