Saina Nehwal is regarded as the prolific Indian Badminton player and she is arguably the best female Indian Badminton player currently in India. She has achieved some remarkable feats in past few years like completing a hat trick of Indonesian Open titles, achieving the 2nd ranking in the world, winning three International tournaments back to back and upsetting top seeded players in World Badminton. Her biggest achievement is that she became the first Indian woman to reach the Quarter Final round at the Olympic Games. She was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year for her magnificent performance in International tournaments.
Saina Nehwal belongs to the Hisar in Haryana and she got her badminton genes from both of her parents including Dr Harvir Singh and mother Usha Rani. Her parents were former State Badminton Champions. Dr Harvir Singh encouraged her daughter to take up game of badminton. Saina started playing badminton at a tender age of 8 under the careful eyes of her coach Nani Prasad. She adopted a tough training schedule from the beginning. She was trained further under SM Arif who is a Dronacharya Award winning Badminton Coach. The Pullela Gopichand’s Academy of Badminton became the training ground of Saina Nehwal where she had developed her game and polished her skills.
She won the National Junior Championship in the year 2004, and defended it again in 2005. She won the National Senior Championship in 2006 and successfully repeated it in 2007 again. In addition to this, she has also won the All India Junior Ranking Tournaments held at Chennai in 2005 and All India Senior Ranking Tournament at Mumbai. She was also the clear winner at the National Games that took place at Guwahati.
Saina has shown her mettle at the international badminton scene by defeating many top seeded players. She won the Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesian Open in 2009 ‘with victory over higher-ranked Chinese Wang Lin. She continued her winning streak by winning second Super Series title of her career and won Singapore ‘Open title on 20th June, 2010. She completed her hat trick of title by winning Indonesian Open on 27th June, 2010.
Saina Nehwal’s romance with the Indonesian Open continued as the champion shuttler from India quelled a spirited challenge from Chinese Li Xuerui to record a 13-21, 22-20, 21-19 in the 64-minute final to clinch her third title in four final appearances in Jakarta on 17th June, 2012. She has proved to be a great badminton player that India has produced and millions of fans are pinning hopes on her to bring home more titles and it would be gold struck for them if she could gift them an Olympic medal.