Indian Women Badminton: Who next after Saina and Sindhu?
The names that come to our mind when asked about women in Indian badminton are usually Saina and Sindhu. The question arises that other than Saina and Sindhu, who are the other talents that are representing women singles for our country. Here is a list of such players along with a brief description of their achievements so far.
Ranked 77 in the World, the 20-year-old based out of Guwahati is the highest-ranked Indian after Saina and Sindhu. She has a few notable achievements to her name which include a recent gold at the 2019 South Asian Championships. In the same year, she participated in various International Challenges with her best performance in reaching the semi-finals of the White Nights, and the quarterfinals of Bangladesh International Challenge, India International Challenge, and the Finnish Open. With all the 10 tournaments she played in 2019, she has scored a total of 19,945 points.
In 2018, she won the TATA Open India International Challenge and Dubai International Challenge. As per the current BAI ranking, the left-handed shuttler is the 5 ranked player in India with 1855 points. She represented the Northeastern Warriors in the recent season of PBL. She is also known for her strong performance at the 83rd Senior National Championships where she gave a tough fight to PV Sindhu 21-10,22-20.
Hailing from a small town of Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, this 18-year-old has had a phenomenal 2020 season so far by winning the Kenya International and Uganda International series. Ranked 104 in the World, she has participated in various Challenges in 2019 and reached the semi-finals of Bahrain International and India International Challenge. Out of the 11 tournaments, she played so far, she has scored a total of 15,510 points. Remarkably, she is currently the highest-ranked women singles player in India (BAI rankings).
The 23-year-old is ranked 98 in the World and has had an outstanding 2019 season as she reached the finals of three tournaments. She was the runner up at the Italian International where she lost to Carolina Marin 19-21,15-21. Also, a runner up at the Syed Modi International Badminton championships. Her Dubai International Challenge also ended with her as the runner up. In the same year, she reached the quarterfinals of the Russian Open. Earlier, she has won the Polish International in 2018 as well as in 2016. She achieved her highest rank of 44 in the World in December 2017.
She is one of the strong women single’s players in the PBL as well, where she has challenged a few of the topmost players. Having played only 7 tournaments this BWF season, she has managed to score an aggregate of 17,300 points.
Based out of Nagpur, Maharashtra, this 20-year-old shuttler has added a few commendable performances to her name. Currently ranked 85 in the World, she reached the quarterfinals of Nepal International Challenge, Bahrain International Series, Lagos International Classics, Spain Masters, and the finals of Wilson International Series. Having played 11 tournaments this season, she has scored 19,160 points. With her great performances, she was selected in the Pune 7 Aces team for the PBL.
The 27-year-old has participated in several tournaments this season where she reached the finals of Croatian International, semi-finals of Lithuanian International, quarterfinals of Maldives International and Nepal International challenge. She has been in the International circuit for long with her considerable achievements being a gold medal at Welsh International 2017 and Bahrain International 2013. Having played 13 tournaments this season, she has scored 14,940 points. In the 2019-20 season of PBL, she played for the Awadhe Warriors team.
With PV Sindhu earning 72,914 points this season, and Saina Nehwal with 50,2017 points, these players still have a lot to achieve to match the greatness of Saina and Sindhu. However, their achievements so far should not be ignored as they will hopefully represent the future of women in Indian badminton.
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