Saina Nehwal is an Indian female badminton singles player. She is a former world number one badminton player with 24 International Titles, including 11 Superseries Titles.
However, She reached world No. 2 position in 2009, but she got more recognition as she became No 1 Badminton player in the world, making her the only female player from India and the second Indian player (after Prakash Padukone) to do so. She has competed in three Olympics for India.
Early Life & Education
Saina Nehwal was born in Hisar, Haryana. She is daughter of Harvir Singh Nehwal ( PhD in agricultural Science and worked at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University ) and Usha Rani Nehwal. She has one elder sister, Chandranshu Nehwal.
She attended Campus School CCS HAU in Hisar for her first few years of education but completed her 12th from St. Ann’s College for Women in Hyderabad.
When her father got promotion, they had to move from Haryana to Hyderabad. There Saina was not able to socialize with other children as she didn’t know the local language .
So to express herself she started playing badminton at the age of 8. Both her parents were also a good badminton player. Her mother, Usha Rani was a Haryana state badminton player. Saina played badminton while her elder sister Chandranshu Nehwal played Volleyball.
Her father who himself was a top badminton player of his University, used her provident fund to give Saina best badminton training. Apart from badminton, Nehwal also holds a brown belt in karate.
Marriage & Family
At home Saina and her Family speak Haryanvi only. She is fan of Shahrukh Khan and Mahesh Babu.
On December 14, 2018, she married Parupalli Kashyap, a fellow badminton player, in a private ceremony.
In her home state of Haryana, she is planning to open a badminton academy.
Saina Nehwal Records
Saina has set a number of records in badminton for India.
1. She is the only Indian to have won a medal in every major BWF individual event, including the Olympics, World Championships, and World Junior Championships.
2. She is the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal
3. Saina Nehwal is the first Indian to reach the final of the BWF World Championships.
4. She is the only Indian to win the BWF World Junior Championships and the BWF World Championships.
5. Nehwal made history in 2006 by becoming the first Indian woman and the youngest Asian to win a four-star tournament.
6. She also holds the distinction of being the first Indian to win a World Series championship.
7. She captained the Indian team at the 2014 Uber Cup and went unbeaten, helping India win bronze. It was India’s first medal in a big team event organised by the BWF.
8. Nehwal is the first Indian to win two Commonwealth Games singles gold medals (2010 and 2018).
Awards & Recognitions
Saina is credited with increasing the popularity of badminton in India. She is one of the most successful Indian athletes.
In 2016 she was awarded with India’s 3rd highest civilian award , Padma Bhushan.
She has also been awarded with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Arjuna award ( Both being country’s highest sporting honours).
Saina Nehwal is a philanthropist and was named the 18th most generous athlete in the world.
A few months after entering the International Badminton Circuit, 17-year-old Nehwal played in the World Championships, where she was defeated by China’s Jiang Yanjiao.
In 2006, Nehwal won the under-19 national championship and made history by becoming the first player to win the “Asian Satellite Badminton Tournament” (India Chapter) twice.
In 2008, She became the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships by beating ninth seeded Japanese Sayaka Sato 21–9, 21–18.
By winning the Indonesia Open in June 2009, she became the first Indian to win a BWF Super Series title, the world’s most prestigious badminton series.
Later that year, she won the India Grand Prix tournament, beating compatriot Aditi Mutatkar in the final with scores of 21–17, 21–13.
In 2010, She was the first Indian woman to reach the All England semi-finals, but she was defeated by eventual champion Tine Rasmussen.
In the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, top seed Nehwal won gold in the Women’s Singles badminton event.
Nehwal defeated Ratchanok Intanon to win her first women’s singles title at the India Open on March 29, 2015.
When the new BWF rankings were published on April 2, she was assured of becoming World number one. She became the first Indian player to accomplish this feat in the Women’s division with this achievement.
Saina Nehwal in Politics
In the presence of the party’s national general secretary, Arun Singh, Nehwal joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi on January 29, 2020. Abu Chandranshu Nehwal, her sister, has also joined the party.
1. Most Promising Player of the Year (2008) award by Badminton World Federation
2. Arjuna Award (2009)
3. Padma Shri (2010)
4. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2009–2010)
5. Padma Bhushan (2016)
6. For the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics – ₹10 million (US$140,000) – Haryana Government
7. ₹5 million (US$70,000) – Rajasthan Government
8. ₹5 million (US$70,000) – Andhra Pradesh Government
9. ₹1 million (US$14,000) – Badminton Association of India
10. Honorary doctorate degree by Mangalayatan University
11. Honorary doctorate degree by SRM Institute of Science and Technology
1. 2002 – Yonex offered to sponsor Nehwal’s kit.
2. In 2004, Bharat Petroleum signed the rising star.
3. She is one of the athletes supported by Olympic Gold Quest.
Other Endorsement are :
1. Commune Builder
2. Edelweiss Group
4. Fortune Cooking Oil
5. Godrej No Marks
6. Herbalife Nutrition
7. Huawei Honor smartphone
8. Indian Overseas Bank
11. Sahara Group
12. Star Sports
13. Top Ramen Noodles
On Screen Presence
Saina Nehwal has been guest on popular TV shows Satyamev Jayate, Comedy Nights with Kapil, The Kapil Sharma Show.
She has written an autobiography ” Playing to Win : My Life On and Off Court ” which was released in 2012 .
Saina Nehwal Biography
A Bollywood movie named ” Saina ” is being released on 26th March 2021. In this biopic Actress Parineeti Chopra is playing the role of Saina.