Saina Nehwal is a professional badminton singles player from India. Nehwal, the former world no. 1, has maintained her world ranking in the top ten since 2009. She has won over twenty international titles, which include ten Superseries titles. Although she reached to the world no. 2 ranking in 2009, it was only in 2015 that she was able to attain the world no. 1 ranking. And thereby becoming the only female player from India & overall the second Indian player – after Prakash Padukone – to achieve this feat. She has represented India three times in the Olympics, winning bronze medal in her second appearance.
Nehwal has achieved several milestones in badminton for India. She is the only Indian to have won at least a medal in every BWF major individual event, namely the Olympics, the BWF World Championships, and the BWF World Junior Championships. She is the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal, along with being the only Indian to have won the BWF World Junior Championships or to have reached to the final of the BWF World Championships. In 2006,
Nehwal became the first Indian female and the youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. She also has the distinction of being the first Indian to win a Super Series title. In the 2014 Uber Cup, she captained the Indian team and remained undefeated, helping India to win bronze medal. It was India’s first medal in any BWF major team event.
Considered as one of the most successful Indian female sportsperson,she is credited for increasing the popularity of badminton in India. In 2016, the Government of India (GoI) conferred the Padma Bhushan – India’s third highest civilian award – on her. Previously, the nation’s top two sporting honours, namely the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award, were also conferred on her by the GoI.