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Saina Nehwal and the year 2012

Feature 23 Dec 2012, 19:43 IST

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The year 2012 has been one of the best year uptil now for the Indian Badminton Queen and Star shuttler Saina Nehwal. This year, Saina Nehwal participated in 14 tournaments. Out of the 14, she emerged as Champion in 4 tournaments, as runner up in 1, lost 3 times in the semifinals, 2 times in the Quarterfinal, 2 times in the second round and 2 times in the opening round. Saina Nehwal, who started this year with a World Ranking of 4 and with 68126.5778 tournament points, ended the year with the World Ranking of 3 and with 80461.7444 tournament points. Now let’s have a look at how Saina performed this year in detail:

Tournaments in which SAINA NEHWAL emerged as Winner

As stated above, this year Saina Nehwal won 4 tournaments including the two Super-Series Premier Titles.

1. Swiss Open (13-18th March) - Saina Nehwal, who was seeded 3rd in the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold tournament, defeated 2nd seeded Wang Shixian of China in the final in 48 minutes by 21-19 21-16. In the Quarterfinals also, she defeated 6th seeded Chinese Shuttler Xin (F) Liu 21-12 21-13.

2. SCG Thailand Open (5-10th June) This was also a Grand Prix Gold category tournament. Saina Nehwal, who was the top seed of the Tournament, defeated 2nd seeded Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand in the Final by 19-21 21-15 21-10.

3. Djarum Indonesia Open Superseries Premier (12-17th June) - Djarum Indonesia Open, which started just one day after the completion of Thailand Open, was the 3rd Superseries Premier event of the year after Korea Open and the All England Championship. This tournament is one of the most important tournaments of Badminton in the year. Saina Nehwal, who was seeded 5th in the tournament as the top 4 seeds were Chinese players, defeated Li Xuerui of China in the final by 13-21 22-20 21-19. In the Quarterfinals she defeated another Chinese shuttler Wang Shixian in a match which lasted for 96 minutes. Saina, who was down match point in the second game, won the match by 21-17 21-23 21-19.

4. YONEX Denmark Open Superseries Premier (16-21st Oct) - Yonex Denmark Open was the 4th Superseries Premier event of the year. Saina Nehwal, seeded 3rd in the tournament, defeated 6th seeded German player Juliane Schenk in the finals by a score of 21-17 21-8. But in this tournament, for the first time in her career, Saina Nehwal defeated World No.1 Chinese Shuttler Wang Yihan. Saina defeated Wang in the Semifinal when Wang decided to retire from the match due to injury. Wang was losing 21-12 12-7 when she retired. Before this, Saina had lost to Wang Yihan for 6 consecutive times in her career, including the defeat in the Semifinals of London Olympics 2012.

Tournament in which SAINA NEHWAL emerged as Runner-up

1. Yonex French Open (23-28th Oct) -Saina emerged as runner up in just one tournament in 2012. After her victory in Denmark Open, she made it to the finals in the Yonex French Open Superseries but lost to the giant killer Minatsu Mitani of Japan by 21-19 21-11. Saina Nehwal was the top seed of the tournament while Mitani was unseeded.

Tournaments in which SAINA NEHWAL lost in the Semi-finals

1. MAYBANK Malaysia Open (10-15th Jan) - Maybank Malaysia Open was the second major tournament of the year after Korea Open. Saina, seeded 4th in the tournament, lost to the top seed Wang Yihan in straight sets in the semis by 21-15 21-16.

2. London OLYMPICS (27th July-12th August) -  It’s a dream for any player to win the most precious Olympic Medal for his/her country. This was also the dream for the star shuttler Saina Nehwal. Saina, who was seeded 4th in the Quadrennial Tournament, won the Bronze Medal after defeating Wang Xin of China in the Bronze medal match. She however lost to Wang Yihan in the Semis to go one on one with Wang Xin for the bronze medal. Wang Xin retired from the match after an injury with the match at 18–21, 0–1. But nonetheless, Saina became the first ever Indian Shuttler to win the medal at the Olympics.

3. BWF Superseries Finals (12-16th dec) - BWF Superseries Finals is played on the Group basis. This is not a knockout tournament. Saina Nehwal, who was in Group-B along with Tine Baun,Juliane Schenk and Intanon Ratchanok, lost in the first two matches against Baun and Ratchanok but won the last group match against Schenk but as Nehwal, Baun and Schenk had same points after the completion of group matches, Nehwal got the better of the two as she had a better win/loss margin.In the Semifinal she was up against the top seed Li Xuerui of China. Saina, who lost the first game 22-20, made a strong comeback in the second game and won 7-21, but unfortunately lost the third game 21-13.

Tournaments in which SAINA NEHWAL lost in the Quarter-finals

1.Victor Korea Open (3-8th Jan) -Victor Korea Open was the first tournament of the year 2012. Saina Nehwal, who was the 4th seeded player in the tournament, lost to the 6th seeded Chinese player Yanjiao Jiang in straight sets by 21-17 21-10.

2. YONEX All England Badminton Championships (6-11th March) - Saina Nehwal, who was seeded 4th in the oldest and the most awaited Badminton tournament of the year the All England Badminton Championships, lost in the Quarters to the 7th seeded Chinese Shuttler Li Xuerui of China by a score of 23-21 21-13.

Tournaments in which SAINA NEHWAL lost in the 2nd round

1. YONEX Sunrise India Open (24-29th April) - This tournament which was played in New Delhi was a Superseries Tournament. Saina Nehwal, playing in front of home crowd, lost to a lower ranked Korean player Youn Joo Bae in the second round by 21-19 21-10.

2. YONEX Sunrise Hong-Kong Open (20-25th Nov) - 3rd seed of the tournament Saina Nehwal lost to Chinese shuttler Wang Lin 21-19 21-15 in the second round.

Tournaments in which SAINA NEHWAL lost in the Opening round

1. Uber Cup Preliminaries (13-19th Feb) - Uber Cup is a team Tournament. Indian team first lost to Malaysia 2-3 and then lost to strong Chinese team by 0-5. Saina however won her match against the Malaysian opponent in the first round but unfortunately the Indian Team lost the rubber.

2. Syed Modi International Grand Prix Tournament (18-23rd Dec) - In the last tournament of the year, India’s Olympic bronze medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal retired on match point from the women’s singles first round at the KL Garg-Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament at the Babu Banarsi Das Stadium.

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