New Delhi, Jan 10 (MNN) World number 18 B Sai Praneeth has been ruled out of the India Open 2022 badminton tournament after he tested positive for coronavirus.
Youngster Dhruv Rawat also returned a positive test and cannot play at the event. Both players were tested before travelling to New Delhi, where the tournament will be held from Tuesday. More pullouts are feared.
Sai Praneeth was seeded second in the men’s singles and was drawn against Spaniard Luis Enrique Penalver in the opening round. Penalver will now get a bye.
Former world championship bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth is the second big Indian shuttler to pull out from the India Open after Parupalli Kashyap withdrew due to injury.
Dhruv Rawat had teamed up with Shikha Gautam in the mixed doubles and the pair was unseeded. Their opponents in the first round – fellow Indians Sanjai Dhanraj and Pooja Dandu – are now through to the next round.
Sai Praneeth and Rawat’s pullout comes a couple of days after the entire four-member English contingent withdrew from the India Open, which will kickoff the BWF 2022 season.
Men’s doubles pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy were the first to pull out after Sean Vendy tested COVID-positive.
English mixed doubles pair Callum Hemming and Jessica Pugh – seeded fourth – also subsequently withdrew.
Hemming-Pugh’s opponents, Hee Yong Terry and Tan Wei Han of Singapore, are through to the next round, as are Lane-Vendy’s opponents, Mohanraj Elumalai and Velavan Vasudevan.