Kidambi Srikanth pulls out of China Open and Korea Open

Kidambi Srikanth on Friday pulled out of the upcoming tournaments in China and Korea, owing to a knee injury that flared up after the World Championship last month.

Srikanth's injury flared up after the World Championships, last month.   -  AP Photo

Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on Friday pulled out of the upcoming tournaments in China and Korea, owing to a knee injury that flared up after the World Championship last month.

The China Open World Tour Super 1000 is scheduled to be held at Changzhou from September 17 to 22, followed by Korea Open World Tour Super 500 (September 24 to 29) at Incheon City.

Srikanth, who had reached the finals at India Open early in the year, had suffered a knee injury just ahead of the Sudirman Cup in May. He recovered to play in Indonesia, Japan and Thailand before featuring at the World Championships.

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The 26-year-old from Guntur had lost to lower-ranked Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in the round-of-16 at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland last month.

“After the World Championships, he couldn’t train much due to the injury and so he decided to pull out,” a source said.

Srikanth, who had won four Superseries out of five finals to become the world No. 1 for a brief period, has been struggling to find his best form after being troubled by injuries and niggles in the last two seasons.

In the 24 events that the Indian played in 2018 and in 2019 so far, Srikanth bowed out at the quarterfinals stage or earlier in 21 -- ten of those being first or second-round losses.

“In the last eight to ten months, I haven’t been able to train for a longer period,” Srikanth, who is currently ranked 10th, was quoted as saying by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“I was getting injured and then coming back and training for a week or two and then playing a tournament, and then I’m pushing too much at tournaments and injuring myself again.

“I want to go back and train for a longer period, and I think if I can do that from now, for the next 12 months, I will be in good shape for the Olympics.”

Former top 10 player H.S. Prannoy was also forced to withdraw from the two tournaments after being down with dengue.