Controversy erupted when ace Indian shuttler and defending national champion Saina Nehwal refused to play a singles match, citing a "poor playing surface" at the venue in Guwahati. Saina complained of an extremely poor surface when she took the court after Sameer Verma conceded his men's singles match owing to a heel problem during his match.

"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 husband and fellow player Parupalli Kashyap said.

Officials swung into action immediately after

Saina Nehwal
File picture of Saina NehwalScreengrab

After the objection raised by Saina, Badminton Association of India Secretary (event) Omar Rashid tried to tackle the issue and even convinced Saina, Parupalli Kashyap and Sai Praneeth to play in the evening.

Saina was slated to take on Shruti Mundada in the pre-quarters but made it clear that she has nothing to do with the court as she did not want to risk an injury with the All England Championship around the corner.

Later, Rashid informed that the association would fix the courts and make all the required arrangements in the cement courts 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," he said.

He also informed that the decision to take part in the game rests on the players and that they have already agreed to complete their matches in the evening.

"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," Rashid added.