Saina Neval

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  • Topic: India, Saina Nehwal, Pullela Gopichand
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  • Published : August 25, 2011
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Saina Nehwal (born March 17, 1990) is an Indian Khel Ratna winning badminton player currently ranked number 2 in the world by Badminton,[4]. 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 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,[5] with the former All England champion and national coachPullela 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[1], both of whom were former badminton champions in Haryana. She is the top ranked player (women) in Indian Badminton history.[6]

Childhood and early training
Saina was born in 1990 in a Jat family from Haryana. Her birth was a big disappointment to her grandmother as grandma wanted a boy [7] 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....
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