Three-time Macau Open champion PV Sindhu pulled out of the USD 120,000 event on Monday to prepare for the Dubai Super Series Finals from December 14. However, her decision hasn’t gone down well with former All England champion Prakash Padukone, who says that pulling out from a tournament at the last minute has become a new trend in sport.
“I am not in favour of the decision. I cannot speak for Sindhu or for anybody else, as it is their personal choice. If I were in her place, I would have withdrawn from the tournament only if I was injured. As a player, it is very important to plan the whole year in advance, irrespective of how you perform. It’s not just about Sindhu, but shuttlers across the globe pull out of tournaments for various reasons.
‘New trend in sport’
“Earlier, too, players withdrew, but it wasn’t so rampant. This is a new trend in the sport which has escalated in the past three-five years,” Padukone told mid-day yesterday. The 61-year-old was in the city to announce the ninth edition of the Tata Open India International Challenge.
Padukone added that a last- minute withdrawal upsets any draw in a tournament. “It (pulling out of a tournament) is within the rules. The player needs to pay a fine, but that’s not good for the sport. It upsets the whole draw when a seeded player withdraws. Players do it if it is a tough draw, or if they have had good results and do not want their next performances to affect it. Recently, Vimal (Saina Nehwal’s coach) told me how a lot of Chinese players withdrew from the Hong Kong Open,” he explained.
Despite the lack of bench strength in women’s singles compared to their male counterparts, Padukone wants the men – the likes of Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth and Co to emulate the kind of consistency the women have displayed.
Work harder, guys
“What the guys need to learn from Saina and Sindhu is to be more consistent. It’s as simple as that. They all need to work harder and train smartly. It is not about winning a title here and there, but they need to plan their tournaments a little better,” he added.