Gayatri Gopichand pulls out of Uber Cup Finals

Treesa Jolly & Gayatri Gopichand
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand had reached the semifinals of the All England Championships. File photo: AFP/Justin Tallis

New Delhi: Rising Indian doubles player Gayatri Gopichand has pulled out of the upcoming Uber Cup Finals after being advised rest to recover from a strain in hip joints.

The development was on Thursday confirmed to PTI by Badminton Association of India (BAI) secretary Sanjay Mishra.

The tournament begins in Bangkok on Sunday.

Gayatri, who forms the women's doubles combination with Treesa Jolly, has been in good form, of late, producing a series of impressive performances in the international and domestic circuit.

She had skipped the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) as well due to the injury and her absence has only compounded the Indian women team's problems as the experienced pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa has already withdrawn from the tournament after the former suffered an abdominal tear.

Simran Singh and Ritika Thakkar, who had finished fourth in the ranking during the selection trials, were included by the selectors in the 10-member squad following Sikki's injury.

But no replacement could be named for Gayatri since the extent of her injury came to light after the deadline for making any change to the squad was over.

Gayatri and Treesa had emerged winners at the selection trials to make it to the Indian squad for the Commonwealth Games, Uber Cup and Asian Games.

The duo had reached the semifinals of the All England Championships in March.

While Gayatri missed out, Treesa left for Bangkok along with the team on Wednesday. Besides Treesa, the other doubles players in the squad include Tanisha Crasto, Shruti Mishra, Simran and Ritika.

 P V Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha and Unnati Hooda are the singles players in squad.

India are in Group D along side South Korea, Canada and the United States.

Meanwhile, former top-10 player H S Prannoy has recovered from a "small injury" which had kept him away from the BAC to reach Bangkok for the Thomas Cup Finals.

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