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Court controversy: Saina refuses to play due to uneven surface

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Controversy erupted at the Senior National Championship Thursday with defending champion Nehwal refusing to play her singles match, citing a "poor playing surface" at the venue here.

Olympic bronze-medallist Saina, who had suffered a late last year, took the court after conceded his men's singles tie following an achilles heels problem during his match.

Up against Shruti Mundada in the pre-quarters, had a look at the surface and immediately made it clear that she won't risk playing on it given that was around the corner.

The officials, led by Association of India (event) Omar Rashid, swung into action to sort out the issue. The BAI officials later convinced Saina, Kashyap and to play in the evening.

"The wooden planks came out at a couple of places after Sindhu played her match. So they are now going to fix it. We will come back in the evening to play our pre-quarterfinal matches," Saina's said.

The championship is being played on three courts at the Assam Academy.

Kashyap, who was also there to play his men's singles pre-quarterfinal match, went to the adjacent second court and inspected that as well along with

Sindhu had competed on the same court in the morning, clinching a straight-game win over Malvika Bansod in the women's singles pre-quarterfinals.

Rashid said BAI will fix the courts and also make arrangements in the at the Tarun Ram Phookan indoor stadium.

"The surface became uneven at a couple of places, so three players have refused to play. We will fix the problem here and also make arrangements in the indoor stadium," Rashid said.

"It is upto them where they want to play. They have agreed to play the pre-quarterfinals in the evening. The rest of the players will play both their pre-quarters and quarters today itself," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 13:50 IST