It was not very long ago, that Saina Nehwal was an aspiring shuttler trying to break into the big stage. And now she is a revered icon, not only in India but across the globe. She first rose to prominence in 2006 after she won the Philippines Open, even though she entered the tournament as an unknown entity. She proved it again with a superb win at the Asian Satellite Badminton Tournament (India chapter). This was her second satellite triumph in as many years and she never looked back thereafter. Newly-crowned India Open champions, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth will look to continue their fairytale run as they eye another podium finish at the USD 500,000 Malaysia Open Super Series Premier which gets underway with the qualifiers here on Tuesday. Left with hardly any time to celebrate their maiden title wins at the India Super Series, Saina and Srikanth had to rush for Malaysia last night itself and the duo will look to recover quickly before starting their campaign on Wednesday in the main draw.
Set to be officially crowned the world no 1 on Thursday, Saina will start her campaign as a third seed against Indonesia’s Maria Febe Kusumastuti in the opening round. The girl from Hyderabad is likely to face Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan, ranked 19th, in the second round. If Saina can produce the same magic which helped her clinch India Open then she is likely to find herself face to face with Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, seeded seventh, in the quarterfinals. Saina’s appetite for the success is great and always strives to conquer higher endeavors. Saina’s impressive run in the sport has not only earned her fans but also the respect of sports-persons from various other disciplines. She surpassed the achievements of all sportswomen in the country and yet she remains down to earth and her sole focus is on the game.
“I have taken some many hard decisions to get here. I kept losing to the top players all the time, in fact, after last year’s World Championship I even thought of quitting badminton. It was a very dark time in my career. People were saying ‘Saina your career is finished’,” Saina said after beating former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-16 21-14 in the final of the Yonex Indian Super Series tournament played at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in Delhi on Sunday. The best phase of my life.Words not lightly spoken. For the time being, though, she can lean back, put up her feet and savor it all she is Saina Nehwal. World No.1. Legend. Saina’s appetite for the success is great and always strives to conquer higher endeavors. Saina’s impressive run in the sport has not only earned her fans but also the respect of sports-persons from various other disciplines. She surpassed the achievements of all sports women in the country and yet she remains down to earth and her sole focus is on the game.