India’s Saina Nehwal has now become the first Indian woman to rank No.1 in Badminton history.
The ace girl from Hyderabad was expected to become the World No.1 if she won her Indian Open Superseries semifinal match against Japan’s Yui Hashimoto. But, she has now achieved the feat even before the start of her match, thanks to Spanish Carolina Marin’s semifinal loss.
Carolina Marin, the World No.4 lost her first semifinal against Indonesia’s Ratchanok Intanon 19-21, 23-21, 20-22 in three tough sets. The Spaniard’s loss has become the Indian’s gain as Saina now goes into her semifinal match as the new World No.1 .
Asked about her chance of being the World No. 1 after her quarterfinal win over Indonesia’s Hana Ramadhini, Saina said
It is not about the number one or number two spot right now. I am concentrating on one match at a time and on winning them.
Though the Indian is happy winning matches and titles, her new ranking will certainly boost her performance and motivate her to stay at top. With the new ranking also comes new responsibilities and new challenges. It will be interesting to see how Saina copes with the pressure of being the the No.1 player in the World.
She is the first Indian woman and the second Indian to become the World No.1 . Prakash Padukone (Men’s singles) was the only other Indian who reached the top spot in 1980.