Saina Nehwal (born March 17, 1990) is an Indian Khel Ratna winning badminton player currently ranked number 2 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. 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. 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 (women) in Indian Badminton history.  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. In order to keep up with the rising cost of her training, Saina’s father withdrew money from his savings and provident fund. The tight-rope walk continued until 2002, when sports brand Yonex offered to sponsor Saina’s kit. As her status and rankings improved, the sponsorships increased.
In 2004, BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited). 8] 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. 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.  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.
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. Saina has been awarded with the highest national sporting award given to players, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. On October 14, 2010 won gold medal against Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia 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. 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. No doubt, that she is a rising star of India and will fetch Goodwill to our Country by winning many more championships.
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