Saina Nehwal is an Indian badminton player currently ranked number 3 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 stunning victory over higher-ranked Chinese Wang Lin in Jakarta. (The Super Series tournament is roughly equivalent to a Grand Slam in tennis). Saina Nehwal won 2010 Commonwealth games gold in Womens Singles Shuttle badminton held in Siri Fort Auditorium, Delhi,on 14th October 2010.
Saina was born in 1990(March 17) in a Jat family from Haryana. In December 1998, Saina's father took her to meet Coach Nani Prasad at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad. Seeing potential in the girl, Prasad asked Singh to enroll Saina as a summer trainee. Harvir Singh and Saina, who was 8 years old at the time, would wake at 4am every morning and head to the stadium which was 25 km away. After two hours of practice, Singh would drop Saina at school on his way to work. Sitting behind her father on his scooter, Saina would often fall asleep on these journeys which prompted her mother to accompany them for the next three months.
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 Hisar, Haryana and has spent her entire life 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 (both Men & Women) in Indian Badminton history.
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 Huaiwen Xu before defeating Julia Xian Pei Wong 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 21-9, 21-18.
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 Li Ya Lydia Cheah of Malaysia 21-8 21-19. Maria Yulianti had earlier lost her quarter-final match to Pia Bernadet, Saina's semi-final opponent, thus denying Saina a rematch.
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 couldn’t 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.
In 2011, 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. 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.
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.
On 18th March, 2012 Saina Nehwal won Swiss Open Title by defeating World No. 2 Shixian Wang of China. One of the most successful player in the circuit this year 2012, Saina Nehwal won Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold title On 10 June 2012 and Indonesia Open Super Series On 17 June 2012, by defeating World No. 3 Li Xuerui of China.
Data Source Wikipedia.org