Saina Nehwal is one of the leading Indian badminton players in the country right now. The 29-year old started the 2019 season with a semi-final finish at the Malaysia Masters in January. She entered the semis after beating second-seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the quarterfinal by a scoreline of 21–8 23–21. Saina Nehwal lost the semi-final to Carolina Marin by 21–16 21–13 margin eventually. However, the Olympic medalist won her first BWF Super 500 title - Indonesia Masters. Incidentally, she did so after defeating Marin, who was forced to retire from the court injured. Saina then followed that up by winning her fourth National Championship by defeating top seed P.V.Sindhu by a 21-18, 21-15 scoreline.
The Indian badminton star started her schooling at the Campus School CCS HAU in Hisar. However, she ended up moving to Hyderabad with her family in order to pursue her badminton career. Saina, who came from a middle-class family, always showed a keen interest in sports right from her formative years. Saina began her training under Nani Prasad and later under Arjuna awardee and reputed badminton coach - SM Arif. Saina, who has a brown belt in Karate, finished her schooling from St. Ann's College in Hyderabad. She did not pursue a graduate degree or any other diploma post her High School certificate.
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The Haryana girl was introduced to Badminton by her parents - Harvir Singh and Usha Rani at a very young age. She could not have asked for better guidance as both her parents were former champions in Haryana district. Being a girl child, Saina faced a lot of challenges as she grew up with regards to playing badminton. In fact, there was a time when her grandmother refused to see her for a whole month because of her career choice. However, she overcame this and is now a shining examplar for 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao'
Saina’s first exposure to badminton was when she visited her mother playing the sport at a local club. Her father Harvir Singh was a top-ranked player at the university level and had enrolled Saina for Karate. She excelled at the combat sport and made her way to a brown belt as well. Initially, the CWG gold medalist used to start training at 4 am and had to travel for around 25km to her coaching centre.
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