Saina pulls out of India Open due to ankle injury

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 22:34 PM IST

Hyderabad: The season-ending India Open Grand Prix suffered a huge setback on Wednesday with star attraction
Saina Nehwal pulling out of the women`s singles draw due to an
ankle injury.

Fresh from her triumph at the Hong Kong Super Series last
week, Saina was practicing this morning when she felt a slight
pain on her right ankle and decided to pull out to avoid
aggravating the injury.

"I had felt a little jerk in my right ankle during the
third set of the Hong Kong Open finals but it wasn`t bad. Even
after I came back home, it was ok but this morning I felt the
area had swelled a bit and there was a little pain. So just to
be on the safe side, I decided to withdraw," Saina told reporters.

The tournament is already grappling with star pull outs
with second seed Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia, fourth
seed Jeanine Cicognini of Switzerland and sixth seed Indian
Aditi Mutatkar pulling out of women`s singles yesterday.

"I really wanted to play but then it would have been an
unnecessary risk as I didn`t want to aggravate it," Saina
added.

KC Punnaiah Choudhary, secretary (Events) of Badminton
Association of India, said Saina`s withdrawl will affect the
tournament.

"Of course, it (Saina`s absence) is going to affect the
tournament," Choudary said.

Saina said she is taking a break and will decide on her
future assignments later on.

"I won`t be able to play the Super Series Masters or the
National Championship as I am taking a break, and I am yet to
decide on the schedule next year. May be I will be back with
the Malaysian Open, I have to see," she said.

PTI