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'I retire from negativity': Sindhu reiterates commitment to play Asia Open, fight Covid-19

PV Sindhu last played in March 2020 at the All England Open, where she lost in the quarterfinals. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

PV Sindhu has reiterated that she is targeting the Asian Open tournaments in Bangkok in January as her return to competitive badminton. In a strangely worded tweet, which began with a hint at retiring, Sindhu said she intended to beat off the negativity spread by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has kept her out of official competition since March.

The pandemic, she said, had been an eye-opener for her. "I could train hard to fight the toughest of opponents, tooth and nail, right till the final shot of the game. I have done it before, I can do it again. But how do I defeat this invisible virus that has the entire world in a fix?," she wrote.

She noted that after "months at home", and internalising the problem and reading heart-breaking stories about the pandemic and its effect, the "last straw" was not being able to take part in the Denmark Open last month.

"Yes, Denmark Open didn't happen but that won't stop me from training. When life comes at you, one must come back twice as hard. So will I for the Asia Open."

She explained her opening lines of the tweet - "Denmark Open was the final straw - I retire" - by saying she was choosing to retire from "this negativity, constant fear, uncertainty...I choose to retire from a complete lack of control over the unknown."

The Asia Open-I will be held from January 12-17, while the Asia Open-II is from January 19-24. Sindhu's last tournament was in March at the All England Open, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. She is currently in London, where she will work on her nutrition and recovery protocols with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. It is learned that Sindhu had been planning to travel to the UK in order to undergo testing for many years, but had been unable to find the time due to her busy calendar.