While the Chinese shuttlers dominated the world stage, young Saina Nehwal took giant strides to not only break the Chinese dominance but also bring Indian badminton on the world map. Her hard work bore favourable results as the Hyderabad-based shuttler won many tournaments to become the poster girl for women's badminton in India. Let us go back to the year when Saina Nehwal made history when she became the first Indian women's singles player to reach the World No 1 ranking, as she celebrated 5 years of the same on Thursday.
Despite winning numerous trophies in her career, it was the World No 1 ranking which had eluded the Indian shuttler. That drought finally ended on April 2, 2015 when the Saina Nehwal World No 1 news made headlines. The reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin lost to Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the semi-finals of the India Open that year, which also meant drop in points for the Spaniard in the BWF Rankings. This resulted in Saina Nehwal taking the World No 1 spot as she became the first non-Chinese player since Denmark’s Tine Baun in 2010 to achieve the feat.
Saina Nehwal, who turned professional in 2006, has gone onto win a whopping 24 international titles of her cabinet. Apart from winning trophies, Saina Nehwal also became the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic bronze at the 2012 London Olympics. She also became the first Indian to reach the BWF World Championships final and also the first Indian player to win a Super Series title. She is also the first Indian to win two women singles gold medals (2010 and 2018) at the Commonwealth Games.
After Saina Nehwal's success, Indian badminton saw the emergence of yet another young shuttler PV Sindhu. The tall Hyderabadi shuttler, just like Saina, worked her way up to badminton glory and took over the mantle of India’s badminton superstar from Nehwal after winning the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio. The rivalry between the two has seen Saina Nehwal leading the one-on-one battle against PV Sindhu.
According to information provided by caknowledge.com, Saina Nehwal current net worth stands at ₹28.40 crore. According to the report, her annual income is worth ₹2.1 crore, while her personal investments amount to ₹11.3 crore. Besides all this, Saina Nehwal has a house which is valued at ₹4.6 crore.
Apart from above mentioned income, Saina Nehwal signed an endorsement deal worth ₹40 crore with sports management firm Rhiti Sports back in 2012. However, that association ended in 2013. Nehwal then signed up with KWAN Entertainment and Marketing Solutions for an undisclosed sum. Saina Nehwal also endorses Yonex, which gives her 4% of their profits.