Orleans Masters Badminton: A top women’s singles shuttler had to withdraw from the Orleans Masters 2021 badminton tournament after a member of the entourage tested positive for COVID-19. Ira Sharma, next on the reserve list, has been promoted to the women’s singles main draw. PV Sindhu had earlier confirmed that she would not be playing in the tournament. In her absence, Saina Nehwal was supposed to lead the Indian challenge.
“An Indian women’s singles player has been withdrawn after a team entourage member tested positive to the mandatory PCR test. The singles player was identified as a close contact of the entourage member and as a result, the player has been withdrawn from the tournament. She is required to quarantine in the hotel. The team entourage member has been asked to self-isolate in a separate hotel room,” the BWF said in a press release.
“The next player on the reserve list, Ira Sharma (IND) has been promoted into the women’s singles main draw,” it added.
The $90,000 tournament will offer valuable points for Olympic qualification and Indian shuttlers will be eager to do well to inch closer to the Tokyo berth.
Top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth will look to shake off the disappointment of an early exit from the All England Championship when he competes at the Orleans Masters Super 100 tournament starting with the qualifiers on Tuesday.
Orleans Masters Badminton: Top Indian women’s singles player withdraws due to COVID-19 issue
Saina Nehwal who had pulled out of the opening round in Birmingham due to a thigh injury is recovering well but will take a call on her participation on Wednesday.
Orleans Masters Badminton: Srikanth, who lost to Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in the first round in Birmingham, is likely to face fellow Indian Ajay Jayaram in the second round. Jayaram will open against Finland’s Kalle Kolojonen.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, seeded fifth, has got a bye and is expected to meet France’s Toma Junior Popov in the second round.
Among others, seventh seed HS Prannoy, Siril Verma and Chirag Sen also received first-round byes, while Kiran George will meet Netherland’s Mark Caljouw, who had reached the semifinals of the All England Championships.
Subhankar Dey, the 2018 SaarLorLux Open champion, will face Ditlev Jaeger Holm of Denmark.
Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, seeded 8th, will square off against Denmark’s Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki will meet the French duo of Julien Maio and Lea Palermo, while Dhruv will pair up with Ashwini, to take on the fourth-seeded English pair of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock.
Seventh-seeded Indian men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will meet the England pair of Matthew Clare and Ethan Van Leeuwen in the opening round.