India’s top men’s doubles player Chirag Shetty believes the absence of China and Japan will lessen competition at the upcoming Thailand Open but said he and his partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are not entering the tournament with huge expectations.

Chinese and Japanese players will be missing action at YONEX Thailand Open (January 12-17), TOYOTA Thailand Open (January 19-24) and the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 (January 27-31), which will conclude the coronavirus-hit 2020 season.

While China had withdrawn after a surge of COVID-19 cases in Thailand, Japan pulled out at the last minute after world no. 1 Kento Momota tested positive for COVID-19.

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“China and Japan not playing…we can’t say easier because there are a few other good pairs as well but yeah 3-4 top 10 players won’t be participating, so the…

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