March 17, 1990 (1990-03-17) (age 21)Dhindar, Hisar district, Haryana, India
1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
60 kg (130 lb)
Pullela Gopichand Atik Jauhari
2 (December 2, 2010)
4 (December 22, 2011)
2009 Indonesia Super Series, 2010 Singapore Super Series, 2010 Indonesia Super Series, 2010 Hong Kong Super Series, Chinese Taipei Open, 2010 India Open Grand Prix Gold, Swiss Open 2011
Competitor for India
2010 New Delhi
Saina Nehwal (Hindi: ; Telugu : ) (born March 17, 1990) is an Indian Khel Ratna badminton player currently ranked 4 in the world by Badminton World Federation. Saina is the first Indian woman to reach the singles quarterfinals at the Olympics and the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships. Saina Nehwal made history on June 21, 2009, becoming the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesia Open with a victory over higher-ranked Chinese Wang Lin in Jakarta.
Saina won her second career Super Series title by winning the Singapore Open title on June 20, 2010. She completed a hat-trick in the same year by winning the Indonesian Open on June 27, 2010. This win resulted in her rise to 3rd ranking and subsequently to No. 2. Later in the same year she also won Hong Kong Super Series on December 12, 2010. After experiencing a poor 2011 season, Saina become the first Indian singles player to reach the summit stage of year-ending Super Series Finals defeating two-time All England champion and World No. 5 Tine Baun in the semi-finals.
Previously coached by S. M. Arif, a Dronacharya Award winner, Saina is the reigning Indian national junior champion and is currently coached by Indonesian badminton legend Atik Jauhari since August 2008, with the former All England champion and national coach Pullela Gopichand being her mentor.
Saina was born in Dhindar, Hisar district, Haryana and completed first few years of her schooling from Campus School. Her Father initially worked in CCS HAU and they then had their residence in the University Campus only.. He later shifted to Hyderabad & so Saina spent her growing years in Hyderabad, India. Her foray into the world of badminton was influenced by her father Dr. Harvir Singh, a scientist at the Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad and her mother Usha Nehwal, both of whom were former badminton champions in Haryana. She is the top ranked player (women) in Indian Badminton history.
1 Childhood and early training
3 Career summary
4 Career record
5.1 Summer Olympics
8 Record against top ranked players
Childhood and early training
She has got brown belt in Karate. She quit Karate at age of 8, when she was asked to have a motorcycle run over her stomach. She practised Badminton in Badminton Court of Faculty Club of CCS HAU located in the University itself.
In 2002, when sports brand Yonex offered to sponsor Sainas kit. As her status and rankings improved, the sponsorships increased. In 2004, BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited). signed the rising star onto their payroll, and she is also supported by Olympic Gold Quest.
Saina was the under-19 national champion. Saina created history by the winning the prestigious Asian Satellite Badminton tournament (India Chapter) twice, becoming the first player to do so.
In 2006, Saina appeared on the global scene when she became the first Indian woman to win a 4-star tournament, the Philippines Open. Entering the tournament as the 86th seed, Saina went on to stun several top seeded players including number seed Xu Huaiwen before defeating Julia Wong Pei Xian of Malaysia for the title. The same year also saw Saina as runner up at the 2006 BWF World Junior Championships, where she lost a hard fought match against top seed Chinese Wang Yihan. She did one better in the 2008 by becoming the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships by defeating ninth seeded Japanese Sayaka Sato 219, 2118.
She became the first Indian woman to reach the quarter finals at the Olympic Games when she upset world number five and fourth seed Wang Chen of Hong Kong in a three-game thriller. In the quarter-finals Saina lost a nail biting 3-gamer to world number 16 Maria Kristin Yulianti. In September 2008, she won the Yonex Chinese Taipei Open 2008 beating Lydia Cheah Li Ya of Malaysia 218 2119. Maria Yulianti had earlier lost her quarter-final match to Pia Bernadet, Saina's semi-final opponent, thus denying Saina a rematch.
Saina has been named The Most Promising Player in 2008. She reached the world super series semifinals in the month of December 2008.
On 21 June 2009, she became the first Indian to win a BWF Super Series title, the most prominent badminton series of the world by winning the Indonesia Open. She beat Chinese Wang Lin in the final 1221, 2118, 219. Saina on winning the tournament said "I had been longing to win a super series tournament since my quarter final appearance at the Olympics". Saina is on the par with the likes of Prakash Padukone and her mentor Pullela Gopichand who both won the all England championships which are of similar status to the super series.
In August 2009 she reached the quarterfinals of world championship losing to the second seed Lin Wang.
Saina Nehwal was rewarded with Arjuna award in August, 2009 and her coach Gopichand was also rewarded with Dronacharya award at the same time.
Saina has been signed up by Olympic Gold Quest to support her in fulfilling her dream of winning the Olympic gold medal.
Saina has been awarded with Padma Shri award in January 2010. Saina is brand ambassador of Deccan Chargers, an Indian Premier League team owned by Deccan chronicle. She has also became one of the 8 brand ambassadors of 2010 Commonwealth Games held on New Delhi India
Her strategy, at the beginning of 2010, was to ignore ranking points and focus her energies on premier tournaments. That seems to be working as she has won three titles (including two in India), and has reached the semis of two majors. With the World Championships, Commonwealth and Asian Games coming up, her preparation couldnt have been better.
Saina has been awarded with the highest national sporting award given to players, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award on 29 August 2010.
On October 14, 2010 won gold medal against Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia 1921, 2321, 2113 in CWG Delhi and made an unforgettable moment in India's badminton history.
On December 12, 2010 she won Hong Kong super series defeating Wang Shixian of China 1521, 2116, 2117.
Saina Nehwal won 2010 Commonwealth games gold in the women's singles badminton event held in the Siri Fort Auditorium, Delhi, on 14 October 2010.
She was recently voted as the third best Badminton Player of the Year 2010 by readers of an international badminton magazine, Badzine. Lin Dan expectedly won the top spot with 30% votes followed by Lee Chong Wei with 26%, Saina winning 9% in the third place.
Czechoslovakia Junior Open
2004 Commonwealth Youth Games
Asian Satellite Badminton Tournament
2006 Commonwealth Games
Philippines Open (badminton)
Asian Satellite Badminton Tournament
Indian National Badminton Championships
National Games of India
2008 Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold
Indian National Badminton Championships
2008 Commonwealth Youth Games
2008 BWF World Junior Championships
2008 BWF Super Series Masters finals
2009 Indonesia Super Series
2009 BWF World Championships
2009 Indian Open Grand Prix
2010 All England Super Series
2010 Badminton Asia Championships
2010 India Open Grand Prix Gold
2010 Singapore Open Super Series
2010 Indonesia Open Super Series
2010 BWF World Championships
2010 Commonwealth Games
2010 Hong Kong Super Series
2011 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold
2011 Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold
2011 Indonesia Open Super Series Premier
2011 BWF World Championships
2011 BWF Super Series Masters Finals
2119, 1121, 2111
Maria Kristin Yulianti
2826, 1421, 1521
Saina successfully lead the Indian Women Team to the Quarter-finals stage of the 2010 Uber Cup finals.
Saina became the first Indian Woman to reach the semi finals of 2010 All-England Super Series before losing to eventual champion Tine Rasmussen.
Top seeded Saina reached the semifinals of Yonex Sunrise Badminton Asia Championships 2010 losing out to unseeded eventual champion Li Xuerui of China. Saina's Coach Gopichand advised her not exert too much pressure on herself due to the overwhelming home crowd support.
Saina wins the 2010 India Open Grand Prix Gold, beating Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia in the final and thus justifying her billing as top seed in the tournament. She won a prize money of $8,280 for winning this BWF Grand Prix Gold tournament.
Saina Nehwal, again seeded no. 1 in the Singapore Open Super Series 2010, entered the finals defeating World champion Lu Lan of China
Saina won the second Super Series title of her career by beating qualifier Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the final of the Singapore Open 2118, 2115. But the fact that she won the tournament in the absence of all the top 5 ranked players (who all happen to be Chinese), takes a little sheen away from her path breaking victory. Saina won a prize money of $15,000 for winning this BWF Super Series tournament.
Saina has reached a career high of world no. 3 in the women's singles badminton world rankings on 24 June 2010.
Saina defended her Indonesia Open super series title in three tough games against Sayaka Sato of Japan, 2119 / 1321 / 2111.This is her third super series title and her third successive title following wins at Indian open, Singapore Super series. She again won the top prize money of $18,750 for winning this BWF Super Series tournament.
On 15 July 2010, with 64791.26 points Saina Nehwal reached a career high world ranking of No. 2 only behind Wang Yihan of China.
2nd seed Saina, a tournament favourite, crashed out of the 2010 BWF World Championships in Paris after losing to 4th ranked Chinese Wang Shixian in straight sets 821, 1421. She although equalled her tournament best performance, as she was also a losing quarter-finalist in the last edition held in Hyderabad. She subsequently dropped a spot to be No. 3 in the world rankings.
Top seed Saina, won the gold medal in the Women's Singles badminton event in the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi. She beat Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia 1921 2321 2113. After her win Saina said, when I was a match-point down, it was like a shock. It was a big match and winning it means a lot to me. Even many years from now, those present here will always remember how Saina won the gold. It is a proud feeling.
In the BWF Super Series ranking for the year 2010 (which only considers the performances of players in the elite world super series tournaments), as on 27 September 2010, Saina has dropped to No. 7 from a high of No. 1 after giving a miss to 2010 China Masters Super Series and 2010 Japan Super Series due to her preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. As on Dec 5 2010, for the first time in the year Saina Nehwal dropped out of the top 10 best performers in the 2010 BWF Super Series rankings.
Saina Nehwal confirmed her participation for the 2010 Hong Kong Super series to held from 7 Dec to 12 Dec, 2010 and is also the penultimate super series tournament of the year. This would be Saina's first super series tournament after a gap of more than 5 months since her win in the 2010 Indonesia Super Series in June 2010.
On 12 December 2010, Saina Nehwal defeated Wang Shixian 1521, 2116, 2117 in the final of the 2010 Hong Kong Super Series to win her fourth career Super Series title.
4th seed Saina Nehwal crashed out of the 2011 Korea Open Super Series Premier on 27 January 2011 in the 2nd round. She was defeated by the Japanese Sayaka Sato in a tight 3 set match with score 17-21,21-19 and 21-11.
5th seed Saina, was disappointed when she was defeated by Eriko Hirose of Japan at 2011 All England Super Series Premier on 11 March 2011. She was defeated in straight sets with a score of 21-11 and 22-20. It was her second early exit of the year after being defeated in Korean Premium Super Series earlier in January.
One week later, on 17 March 2011, she met Eriko Hirose again (in the second round of the Wilson Badminton Swiss Open), but managed to win this time in three games 21-15, 17-21 and 21-11 - on her birthday.
2nd seed Saina Nehwal beat Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea 21-13, 21-14 to win the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton title on 20 March 2011.
Saina Nehwal posed an early exit from the Indian Open Super Series in Delhi. She disappointed the home crowd being defeated by Ai Goto of Japan in straight games 21-17 and 21-19.
Saina Nehwal faltered after a good start as she lost to the then world number three Wang Xin of China in the finals to finish runner-up in the 2011 Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold tournament on 8 May 2011.
Saina Nehwal participated in the 2011 BWF Double Star Sudirman Cup Mixed team event, she won her first match against Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei which was a tough three setter 21-10, 12-21 21-17, but India lost the tie 3-2. She was then shocked in her second match by current Junior World Champion & 16 year old teen sensation Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand losing in straight sets 21-14, 22-20, but India managed to beat Thailand 3-2 in the tie to book a spot in the quarterfinals of the Elite mixed team event for the first time in the history of the tournament. In the quarterfinals against the mighty Chinese, Saina put up her best performance and beat the then World number two Xin Wang in straight sets 21-15, 21-11, but still the Chinese managed to move into the semi finals with a 3-1 win over India.
Saina lost to Xuerui Li of China in the quarterfinals of the Thailand Open GP Gold.
Defending Champion Saina lost to Cheng Shao-chieh of Chinese Taipei in the second round of Singapore Open Super Series
Saina, in her attempt to record a third straight win at the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier, reached the finals where she lost to Wang Yihan of China to finish as runner-up, on June 26.
Saina Nehwal crashed out of World Championship 2011 as she lost 15-21, 10-21 to World Number 3 Wang Xin of China in a lop-sided women's singles match. Saina, who reached the quarterfinals in the last two editions of the event, had to be contend with yet another last-eight finish.
Saina Nehwal lost in quarter finals of 2011 China Masters Super Series against World No. 1 Wang Yihan of China in straight games 8-21, 12-21.
Saina Nehwal lost in semi finals of 2011 Japan Super Series against Juliane Schenk of Germany in straight games 19-21, 10-21.
Saina Nehwal disappointed once in the 2011 Denmark Super Series Premier as she lost to 17 year old teen Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan in straight games 19-21, 13-21 in the second round.
Saina Nehwal repeated her shocking second round exit in the 2011 French Super Series as she lost to World No. 16 Li Xuerui of China in straight games 18-21, 29-30.
Saina Nehwal lost in semi finals of 2011 Hong Kong Super Series against World No. 7 Tine Baun of Denmark in straight games 16-21, 15-21.
Saina Nehwal was defeated in the very first round of 2011 China Open Super Series Premier by World No. 8 Bae Youn-joo of South Korea 21-15, 22-24, 15-21.
During the season ending tournament in December, Saina Nehwal created history by becoming the first Indian singles player to reach the final of BWF Super Series Masters Finals after defeating World No. 5 Tine Baun of Denmark to cruise 21-17, 21-18 in the semifinals of the 2011 BWF Super Series Masters Finals in Liuzhou (China). She went on to lose the final 21-18, 13-21, 13-21 against the World No. 1 Chinese Wang Yihan in a contest lasting over an hour.
Record against top ranked players
Wang Yihan 04
Wang Xin 24
Jiang Yanjiao 03
Wang Shixian 11
Li Xuerui 1-3
Wang Lin 23
Lu Lan 41
Tine Baun 23
Juliane Schenk 53
Cheng Shao-Chieh 1-1
Tai Tzu-ying 4-1
Bae Seung-Hee 20
Bae Youn-joo 41
Sung Ji-hyun 20
Ai Goto 31
Eriko Hirose 23
Sayaka Sato 21
Petya Nedelcheva 52
Pi Hongyan 05
Yip Pui Yin 31
Zhou Mi 13
Wong Mew Choo 32
Yao Jie 22
Ella Diehl 50
Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 3-0
Inthanon Ratchanok 1-1
Salakjit Ponsana 30
Adrianti Firdasari 22
Maria Kristin Yulianti 01
(as on December 18, 2011)
^ a b "Saina Nehwal | India Medal Hopes | Badminton | Delhi Commonwealth Games | Profile | Career - Oneindia News". News.oneindia.in. 2010-09-24. http://news.oneindia.in/feature/2010/saina-nehwal-india-badminton-cwg-profile-career.html. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
^ Best World Ranking
^ Current World Ranking
^ Current World Ranking
^ Atik Jauhari, India's Foreign Coach not happy with players dated 16 April 2009