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Saina Nehwal set to climb back into the top 10 of the BWF world rankings

Nehwal was last a part of the top 10 in May.


saina nehwal
Saina Nehwal: Back among the elite

What’s the story?

The BWF World Rankings list that will release on Thursday, November 23, 2017, will see a lot of shuffle. Among the big changes, former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal is all set to climb back into the top 10 in contrast to which, PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi will slip down the ladder.

Former China Open champion Nehwal bettered her 2016 result in Fuzhou and added 4320 points this time by dint of her second round appearance at the Superserier Premier tournament that concluded last week. It will enable her to have a total points tally of 56160 and will place her at the 10th position, six months after she left the top 10.

Nehwal’s rise has also been helped by Sun Yu’s fall. The Chinese, who was the runner-up last year, did not play in the 2017 edition and thus plummeted four spots to 11th.

In case you didn’t know

Nehwal showed fabulous footwork during her title-winning campaign at the Senior National Championships and was admittedly happy with how she was moving on the court. But she failed to bank on it and make an impact at the China Open where she bowed out to eventual champion Akane Yamaguchi in the second round.

Nehwal led Yamaguchi for most part of the opening game only to see the diminutive Japanese storm back and then run through the second game to clinch the 21-18, 21-11 win.

The heart of the matter

World Championships silver medallist PV Sindhu’s ranking will also be affected after she failed to defend the China Open crown that she won last year. Sindhu crashed out in the quarter-finals, losing to giant-killing qualifier Gao Fangjie, 11-21, 10-21. It was later alleged that the 22-year-old had not been feeling well since the morning on the day of the match.

The fourth-ranked Yamaguchi’s China Open title win will haul her up the rankings by two places which will, in turn, see Sindhu slide down one spot to third.

Srikanth, who pulled out of the China Open, will be pushed down one place to third as well due to Son Wan Ho reaching the semi-finals in Fuzhou.

Among the other Indians, Singapore Open Superseries winner B Sai Praneeth will be 17th while the recuperating Sameer Verma will be 20th.

What’s next?

Saina Nehwal will next be seen in action at the Hong Kong Open Superseries this week. Her first match is against World No. 44 Mette Poulsen on Wednesday. Sindhu too will begin her campaign at the same tournament on the same day against a qualifier.

Author’s take

Saina Nehwal has shown flashes of brilliance of late and her return to the top 10 is a reward for that. This will surely motivate her to keep on working hard as she seeks her way up the ranking chart.

Also read: China Open 2017: Saina Nehwal wins hearts with incredible gesture of humility

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