Singapore Open kicks off with several withdrawals

Singapore, June 18 (IANS) The Singapore Open kicked off Tuesday with several of the top players absent from the men’s singles event.

The absentees include 2010 champion and Olympic bronze medallist Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, reports Xinhua.

Previously, China’s Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan, who had stayed away from the court since the London Olympics and started playing only recently, decided to pull out citing injuries suffered during April’s Badminton Asia Championships.

The world’s top two shuttlers, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Chen Long of China, also decided not to compete.

The top seed will now be Du Pengyu of China. Hu Yun, from Hong Kong will be the second seed followed by defending champion Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand.

Most of the top players will be competing in women’s singles including China’s World No.1 Li Xuerui, World No.4 Wang Yihan and World No.8 Wang Shixian. Joining them will be India’s World No.2 Saina Nehwal.

The tournament will run for six days till Sunday.

The Singapore Open was also hit by a string of withdrawals last year when it took place after the qualifying window of the Olympics.

Bobby Lee, chief executive officer of the Singapore Badminton Association, said the withdrawals this time might be attributed to the players’ fatigue and injuries as the Super Series came just a week after the Indonesia Open, a Super Series Premier event.

It is also the last Super Series event before the World Championships in Guangzhou from Aug 5-11.

“The World Championships is a month’s time away so some players might think they need to prepare well for that and choose not to play here,” said Saina.

The event will be moved to April starting from next year, making closer to the India Open, which is another Super Series event.

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