Saina Nehwal is India's best badminton player as on today. She is currently ranked No.6 in the world (as on 14-Jul-2011) in the women's singles event, as per the rankings that are published by the Badminton World Federation. Her career-best world ranking so far has been being No.2 in Dec-2010.
Awards won by Saina Nehwal:
Saina Nehwal won the prestigious Arjuna award in Aug-2009.
She was also honoured with the Padma Shri award in Jan-2010.
Saina won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India's highest sporting award, in Aug-2010.
About Saina Nehwal's family:
Saina's father Dr. Harvir Singh was a former University badminton champion, while her mother Usha Nehwal was former state badminton champion of Haryana. It was at her father's behest that she was introduced to badminton.
Saina Nehwal's Biography:
Saina was born on 17-Mar-1990. (As on the date of writing this article she is just 21 years of age). She was born at Hisar in Haryana state of India. She later moved on to Hyderabad with her family in 1998 and since then has spent most of her life at Hyderabad.
She started learning badminton at the age of 8, when she was enrolled at a summer badminton camp being conducted by coach Nani Prasad at the Fateh Maidan Indoor stadium at Hyderabad, and went on to make rapid progress in the world of badminton winning title after title on the National and International levels.
Saina Nehwal currently trains at the Pullela Gopichand badminton academy in Hyderabad.
Saina Nehwal's Coaches:
Saina Nehwal's first coach was Nani Prasad. She was later coached by S.M. Arif and Indonesian badminton player Atik Jouhari. Saina's current coach is former All-England badminton champion Pullela Gopichand.
Saina Nehwal's Achievements / Major badminton title's won by Saina Nehwal listed year-wise:
Saina was born in 1990. Started training at the age of 8. So that must be the year 1998. Within 5 years of professional training, at the age of 13, she won her first major international junior title in 2003, the Czechoslovakia Junior Open badminton title.
The next year in 2004, Saina Nehwal was part of the Indian youth team that went to play at the Commonwealth youth games. Inspired by Saina's splendid performances, India's badminton team won the Silver medal at these games.
Saina won the Asian Satellite badminton tournament title in 2005.
Saina Nehwal won her first major senior international title, the Phillipines Open, in the year 2006. The same year she also won the Commonwealth Games Bronze medal and the Asian Satellite tournament title once again.
Saina Nehwal stamped her authority on Indian badminton in 2007, becoming the senior national champion. She won the Indian National Badminton Championship title, and the Indian National Games Gold medal.
Saina became the World Junior badminton champion in 2008. She also defeated world no.5 Wang Chen in a match that lasted 3 sets, to reach the quarterfinals of the Olympics in 2008. Saina Nehwal also won her first Grand Prix Gold title the same year. Also significant was her reaching the semi-finals of the Superseries Masters event in 2008.
Major Achievements in 2008:
Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold 2008 title,
Reached the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympics in 2008,
Indian National Badminton Championship title,
Commonwealth Youth Games Gold medal,
World Junior Championship title,
Semi-finalist at the Superseries Masters final.
Saina won the first Superseries title of her career in 2009, clearly marking her place in the badminton world's elite group players.
Major Achievements in 2009:
Indonesia Super Series 2009 title,
Quarterfinalist at the World championships,
India Open Grand Prix title,
Saina Nehwal was in devastating form in 2010, as she won 3 Super Series titles in the year. In 2010, Saina also achieved her career best ranking by reaching the World No.2 position. She also won a very memorable match on home ground, at the Siri Fort indoor complex at New Delhi in India, during the Commonwealth Games final, when she defeated Wong Mew Chew of Malaysia to grab the Gold medal. That win helped India to reach the No.2 spot in the final CWG standings.
Major Achievements in 2010:
India Open Grand Prix Gold 2010 title,
Singapore Super Series 2010 title,
Indonesia Super Series 2010 title,
Reached the semi-finals of the All-England Super series badminton championship,
Quarterfinalist at the World Badminton Championships.
CWG (Commonwealth Games-2010) Gold medal in Individual badminton women's singles event, as well as Silver medal in the team event.
Hong Kong Super Series 2010 badminton title,
Saina has been troubled with injuries since early this year in 2011, due to which she had to skip a couple of tournaments. However she bounced back strongly to win the Swiss Open GP Gold title, albeit in the absence of Chinese players. At the recent Sudirman Cup-2011, in which India reached the last 8 stage for the first time, Saina defeated world no.2 Xin Wang of China in a match that she won in straight sets.
Achievements in 2011:
Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold 2011 badminton tourney.
Runners up at the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.
Runners up at the Indonesia Open-2011 Super Series Premier badminton tournament.
World no.4 Saina Nehwal ended the year 2011 on a high note by clinching the Silver medal at the Li Ning BWF World Superseries Finals 2011. In the finals she eventually lost to World No.1 Yihan Wang of China in closely contested three setter match.
Saina Nehwal - Miscellaneous information
- Saina Nehwal is a right-handed badminton player.
- She is about 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighs about 60 kg.
- She plays with the Yonex ArcSaber-7 brand of badminton racket.
- News sources declared that Saina had turned glamorous in 2011, when she dyed her hair blonde.
- Saina has starred in an Airtel advertisement earlier. Airtel is one of India's leading telecom company.
- Saina Nehwal is the brand ambassador of Deccan Chargers, the IPL cricket team that is owned by Deccan Chronicle of Hyderabad.
- She was also one of the 8 brand ambassadors of the 2010 CWG games.
- Nehwal was voted the 3rd best badminton player of 2010, by international badminton magazine, Badzine.
- Nehwal also has got a brown belt in Karate which she had learnt in her childhood.
- Saina joined the BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) ranks in 2004.
- Nehwal is also supported by the Olympic Gold Quest foundation.
Most prestigious titles which Saina Nehwal is yet to win:
All-England Open badminton championships,
Super Series Masters title,
Asian Games Gold medal.
Olympic Games Gold medal.
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