Saina Nehwal now World No.3, family overjoyed (Lead)

June 24th, 2010 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 24 (IANS) India’s star shuttler Saina Nehwal attained a new peak in her fast-moving career as she shot up three places to World. No 3 in the rankings Thursday.
Saina, who is looking for her third title in three weeks, celebrated her new-found status by making the quarterfinals at the Indonesian Open in Jakarta Thursday. Her family in Hyderabad was ecstatic.

“It is a proud moment for entire the family,” Saina’s father Harvir Nehwal told IANS.

“She has given us enough happiness and we just hope that she continues to excel in badminton. We never thought that she will do such extraordinary things. It is her sheer hard work that today she is number three in the world of badminton.” Harvir said.

“She has made the country proud and we are happy about it. We have always supported her in whatever she wanted to do.

“At the moment though, she is focusing on the Indonesian Open. So she does not want to think about it. We will wait for her to come back and then celebrate her success,” said Harvir.

Saina won back-to-back titles — India Open Grand Prix and the Singapore Open Super Series in the last two weeks — and marched ahead of three Chinese players in the women’s singles charts for her career-best ranking.

The fiercely competitive 20-year-old, who has taken on China’s domination in the sport, quite like Prakash Padukone in his heydays, now finds herself amidst a riot of red Chinense flags. Saina is the lone non-Chinese player in the top six list.

China’s Yihan Wang tops the list, followed by Xin Wang. Saina pushed behind Shixian Wang, Wang Lin and Jiang Yanjiao, who all went down by one place.

Saina’s previous best was the fifth position she attained in March after becoming the first Indian woman to reach the semifinals of the All England Super Series Championships.

Saina is a strong favourite for a third title in three weeks as she advanced to the quarterfinals of the Indonesian Open Super Series in Jakarta Thursday, going past Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva 21-9, 21-15.

The Indian, who is the top seed and the defending champion at the Indonesian Open, has many firsts to her name since making a stellar start to her international career by winning the Philipinnes Open in 2006. She is the first Indian woman to reach the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympics, besides winning two Super Series events, and also the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships in 2008.

Aditi Mutatkar is the next Indian in the women’s singles rankings, climbing one spot to 32nd place.

In the men’s chart, Chetan Anand is the top-ranked Idian at 16. Parupalli Kashyap, who made it to the semifinal of the Singapore Open Super Series, improved his ranking to 27, jumping five places. Arvind Bhat went up two places to 28 while Gurusaidutt moved to 44, jumping eight places.

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