Twin top rankings reflect rise of women in Indian sports: Saina
After reclaiming the top spot in badminton singles rankings, Saina Nehwal is doubly delighted at fellow Hyderabad tennis ace Sania Mirza’s rise to the summit of the women’s doubles rankings and says the twin achievements reflect the rise of women power in the domain of Indian sports.
“Sania Mirza is a big name in the world of tennis, she is the numero uno in her game. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours. Women in sports have come up in a big way in recent past and I congratulate all of them, including Mary Kom, Krishna Poonia, Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari, Heena Sidhu and Sania Mirza. It is good that women power is visible in sports,” Saina said on Sunday, crediting the central government’s sports policies for the success stories.
Saina became the first Indian women to be crowned world no.1 on March 29 after her Indian Open Grand Prix triumph. But she dropped to the second place, overtaken by China’s Li Xuerui, following her semifinal exit in the Malaysia Open Superseries. But she regained the top slot after Li pulled out of Singapore Open Superseries.
“I am proud to be world no.1 in badminton. It is really tough to reach the pinnacle in badminton... it took me five years to realise my dream as I became world no.2 in 2010,” the right-handed shuttler said. The 25-year-old Saina is the only non-Chinese to get the top billing since 2010 when Denmark’s Tine Baun ruled the rankings. The 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist dedicated her recent feat to her parents, coaches and well-wishers.
When asked what makes a Chinese player so tough to beat, she said: “Maybe these players are trained on best infrastructure they have created for each sport and the availability of best coaches compared to India and other countries where hardly a few best coaches are available. The number of players is also very high compared to us where there is a shortage of players.”