Saina Nehwal’s ascent to the pinnacle of the world rankings was made official as the new BWF rankings released on Thursday. Nehwal with 78541 points is ahead of second-placed Carolina Marin of Spain who has 73618 points. The third place is occupied by Chinese Li Xuerui who was dethroned by Saina from the top spot.
This officially marks the end of more than four-year long Chinese domination of the World No. 1 ranking. The last non-Chinese to have been at the helm of the world rankings was Tine Baun of Denmark when she was ranked No. 1 in December 2010.
Saina Nehwal thus emulates the legendary Prakash Padukone as the second Indian shuttler ever to become the numero uno player. Saina has won two titles this season – the India Open Superseries and the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold besides reaching the final of the All England Open.
Meanwhile PV Sindhu held on to her 9th spot in the women’s singles rankings.
Saina Nehwal thanks fans on Twitter
An ecstatic Saina Nehwal thanked her fans on Twitter after being crowned the No. 1. The Indian is currently playing at the Malaysia Open Superseries Premier where she has reached the quarter-finals.
Officially world number 1 today in the BWF rankings very very very very very very happy thank u all for the support pic.twitter.com/USpw9NeRk1
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) April 2, 2015
HS Prannoy is the new India No. 2
There was a major change in the men’s singles rankings as well. The fast-rising 22-year-old HS Prannoy jumped three places to become the World No. 14 and the new India No. 2. Prannoy reached the India Open quarter-finals last week after a massive upset of the 2nd-ranked Jan O Jorgensen in the second round.
Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold champion Parupalli Kashyap had been struggling with a hamstring injury after his superb performance in Lucknow in January. It triggered a ranking plunge for Kashyap as he dropped four places to No. 17.
RMV Gurusaidutt who was impressive at the India Open, also rose seven places to be ranked No. 43.
Meanwhile, India Open men’s singles winner Kidambi Srikanth remained unchanged at No. 4. Ajay Jayaram jumped one place to No. 4 while B Sai Praneeth dropped one place to No. 37 in the latest rankings.
Anand Pawar also had a rise in his rankings. He is now 2 places higher at No. 50.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy dropped one spot to No. 28 while Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar rose a place higher to No. 35.
In women’s doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa fell one place to No. 19.