There was a big change in women’s singles rankings in the new BWF Ranking list released on Thursday as PV Sindhu overtook Saina Nehwal to become the new India No.1. While Sindhu jumped two spots to be 9th, Nehwal slid down five rungs to tumble out of the top 10 and become 11th.
The shift in the rankings is not surprising though. Nehwal’s knee surgery induced-layoff was responsible for her fall. After a three-month hiatus, the former World No. 1 returned to the China Open Superseries Premier last week.
Despite giving ample glimpses of the fighter that she is, the 26-year-old crashed out in the first round. Having been the 2015 runner-up, she lost a major chunk of points that pushed her out of the top tier of shuttlers.
This is Saina's lowest ranking in seven years. She had not been outside the top 10 since entering the elite bracket in 2009. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist reached the pinnacle of world rankings in April last year.
The Rio Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, in contrast, had one of the biggest victories of her career last week as she went on to win her maiden Superseries title at the China Open. The 11,000 points that she earned at Fuzhou, aided in her rise.
Both Saina and Sindhu are currently in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open Superseries this week and can meet each other in the semi-finals.
Jayaram breaks back into top 20
Ajay Jayaram reached the quarter-finals of the China Open last week which triggered a jump of four places for the Mumbai-born shuttler. The 29-year-old, who has reached the Hong Kong Open quarter-finals too, is now 19th which is just a spot below his career-best ranking of 18th.
HS Prannoy, who made it to the second round in China, too soared a couple of spots to be 25th.
Meanwhile, the injured Kidambi Srikanth stayed put at 12th and so did B Sai Praneeth, brothers Sameer and Sourabh Verma at 36th, 43rd and 45th respectively.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy has plummeted one spot to go down to 22nd. In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy stuck to their career-high ranking of 22nd.