Saina Nehwal Family And Background
Born on March 17, 1990, in Hisar, Haryana. Both her parents had been avid badminton players. While her father was a top player at the university level, Saina’s mother played at the state level. Saina’s father, who holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural science, got transferred to Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh from his home state, Haryana. And Saina took to playing badminton to make up her time spent well in an occupied frame overriding her inability to interact with kids in her new set up in Hyderabad owing to language barriers.
But her play even during practice set her apart. Her mettle, since early on, exuded her gift of gab in the sport. Acknowledging her spark at the game, her parents enrolled her in the Gopichand Academy run by Pullela Gopichand who rewrote sporting glory for the country by winning the prestigious All-England Championships in 2001. Saina had begun her coaching under S. M. Arif and the first major victory came in the year 2003 when she won the Junior National Championship.
Saina Nehwal Achievement Trail
Her journey to trail championship victories had begun in 2003 itself she won the Junior Czech Open. At the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games, she won the silver. She lifted the Asian Satellite Badminton Tournament in 2005 successfully defending it in 2006.
Saina’s first tryst with team India was the 2006 Commonwealth Games, in Melbourne when she carried the team to a Bronze medal. She followed it up with a Silver medal in the Girls Singles event at the 2006 World Junior Championship.
The year 2006 was her stepping stone to international stardom. At age 16, she became the first Indian woman and the youngest one from Asia to win a 4-star tournament – the Philippines Open.
In 2008 she etched her name as winner at the World Junior Badminton Championships. The same year she struck gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games and the title at Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold, in the Women’s Singles event. She also became the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the quarter finals at the Olympics the same year.
In June 2009, she laid her hands at a Badminton World Federation Super Series title, an elite set of tournaments, by winning the Indonesia Open. And hence became the first player from India to achieve the coveted feat.
Saina Nehwal attained a career-best ranking of 2 in 2010. Nehwal won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and became the first Indian to win a medal in the sport at the mega event. She is the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships and was also the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesia Open on 21 June 2009.
Saina won the 2010 India Open Grand Prix Gold with a vociferous home crowd lapping every point she won. Saina in the same year took home the second Super Series Title of her career to life the Singapore Open
Her two victories saw her rank jump to No.3 in the world on June 24, 2010. She went on to defend her Indonesia Open Super Series Title. This was her third successive title and her third Super Series Title. This surged her rank to No. 2 on July 15, 2010, from being ranked No. 3 the last month
Much to the nation’s joy, Saina won the gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi which eminently led to India ending at the third place overall in the games.
watch her sending the home crowd in a frenzy with her Gold at commonwealth games Delhi.
Though Saina had skipped two Super Series Tournaments to prepare for the Commonwealth Games at home, the star shuttler roared back on the professional circuit with her fourth Super Series Title victory at the 2010 Hong Kong Open Super Series.
The win at the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold, 2011 was her only title victory in the year 2011 though she reached the finals of the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier.
Her winning spree reached a crescendo in 2012 as she remarkably won the Swiss Open, Thailand Open, Indonesia Open, Denmark Open and made the finals of the French Badminton Open.
Saina was among the favorites for the gold at the 2012 London Olympics. However, she had to contend herself with a bronze medal finish after her run in the semi-final was halted by the then World No.1 China’s Yihan Wang. In the bronze medal play-off Saina’s opponent China’s Wang Xin, retired hurt while leading Saina 18-21, 0-1 handing Saina and India the podium finish at the prestigious games. India’s favorite sportswoman had secured honors for the nation at the Olympics. A first for Indian women in badminton which was also India’s first in the sport.
Saina Nehwal Career Titles After Olympics
Saina returned to the court in 2014 after recovering from an injury and won the India Grand Prix Gold, The Star Australian Badminton Open and the Thaihot China Open. In 2015, she won two tournaments – Syed Modi International Badminton Championship and the 2015 India Open.
The largest democracy in the world celebrating its republic day on January 26th had two Indian players competing for the Women’s Singles title at the 2014 India Open Grand Prix Gold Tournament. Saina Nehwal defeated World Championship bronze medalist P.V. Sindhu to claim the honors.
Saina after a long injury layoff won the 2014 Australian Super Series as well. She became the first Indian woman to win a China Open Super Series, claiming it in 2014 after unsuccessful forays in previous editions.
Saina Nehwal Vs Carolina Marin
Much before Carolina Marin’s duels with PV Sindhu caught the attention of the sport, Saina had quite a few thrilling contests against Marin. Saina had defended her India Open Grand Prix Gold 2015 by defeating the Spaniard, Carolina Marin in a closely contested duel. Saina survived two match points in the second game to emerge a 19-21 25-23 21-16 winner. This was Saina’s third victory in three matches yet against Marin.
The same year she became the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the finals of the All England Open Badminton Championships, however, Carolina had her measure in the final.
Watch Saina’s epic showdown at India Open Grand Prix Gold 2015
The date of 29 March 2015, will remain etched as one of pride for not only the fact that she won her maiden women’s singles title at the India Open BWF Super Series but also for attaining the World Number 1 Rank when the then Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings were released on 2nd April 2015.
She claimed silver at the World Badminton Championships held in Jakarta losing to Carolina Marin again in the final. Besides ending runner-up to local favorite Xuerui Li to claim yet another silver at the 2015 China open.
Saina was dogged by injuries in the year 2016. Her first final appearance in the year was at the Australian Open Super Series, June 2016, which she won after coming through hard-fought victories against rivals in the quarter-finals as well as the semis.
The year 2017 began fortuitously for her as she won her maiden Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold title. Saina continued an injury-plagued 2017 with a bronze win at the World Badminton Championships at Glasgow. This was Saina’s seventh consecutive quarterfinal at the championship which is a record. The same year witnessed another epic battle between P. V. Sindhu and Saina which ended in Saina’s favor as she won the 82nd national badminton championship defeating P. V. Sindhu in the final.
2018 was another productive year in Saina’s illustrious career as she won her second gold at the Commonwealth Games overcoming P V Sindhu once more. This was in addition to her Delhi Commonwealth games gold, 2010. She also took home gold for the country in the Mixed Events category at the games. Thus becoming the first Indian woman to win three Commonwealth Golds in her sport.
Her fine run at the Asian Badminton Championships continued as she clinched the bronze for a total of three career medals at the championships.
Besides her Title Victories that brought her Glogal fame, Saina Nehwal for her achievements was conferred the Arjuna Award in 2009, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2009 and the Padma Shri in 2010.
Saina has over 23 international titles to her name. Off the 23, 10 are Superseries titles.
In 2018, she was ranked 9th in the BWF rankings and has remained in the top bracket in rankings despite her struggles with injuries of late.
2019 has been an unremarkable year by her standards. The standards she has set for a remarkably long, splashed with glory, fourteen years as a professional on the tour. A quarter-final appearance at the prestigious All England Badminton Championships, The year saw her reach the SemiFinals of Perodua Malaysia Masters losing to Carolina Marin at the semis. She went on to claim the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2019, overcoming arch-foe Carolina Marin in the final. Both these events are rated BWF World Tour Super 500 category events.
Saina Nehwal is married to Star Badminton Player, Parupalli Kashyap who hails from Hyderabad as well and is an Arjuna Awardee himself, a quarter-finalist at the 2012 London Olympics, Gold-medalist at 2014 Commonwealth Games. The two had met at their Coach Pullela Gopichand’s Badminton Academy in 2005 and trained together.
In the year 2015 Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold Both Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap had won their respective finals to emerge victors. And on December 14, 2018, the duo posed as a delightful couple, bringing forth their relationship that they had bonded in for last so many years without ever being in public eye.
Saina expressed their bond in a post on her Instagram handle, nehwalsaina “From 1999-2000 onwards, he has been someone who has always been supportive game-wise and whatever issues I had outside the court. I think it was in 2003-04 when it started. It’s just like we are used to each other in that way. We both are very shy. More than love, out friendship, is very strong,”.
Parupalli Kashyap revealed that they used to meet each other every day in training and it was there where it all started. “We used to meet each other every day in training, slowly we got emotionally attached – our results, our performances,” he said. An image from their junior days, courtesy @sportstarweb, that went viral on social media bonds their closeness
A stream of many firsts as milestones in her sparkling career have poured upon the nation, immense pride.
Badminton as a sport and fitness activity already had a large number of takers across the country. But the sport lacked the depth of mileage in media coverage that would make the players a talking point and carry all updates of the sport to the living room discussions. Saina’s hail of achievements, as we know, has changed everything.
The crowning glory she has brought to the country and continues to get, has had a ripple effect. Her wins have exceeded the timeline of her sporting achievements, even beyond her exclusive legion of records.
For she has changed the very way we citizens got involved with sports and the way the new crop of sportspersons imbibed sports in their respective categories.
The skills, positivity, self-belief, fitness she has set up an example of has paved the path to break our own barriers of doubt and be willing to climb any Everest. That endeavor to now go for victory with the winning mindset is what your achievements, Saina, have shaped the sports culture of the country.