The year 2019 cannot be classified as a successful or unsuccessful for the Indian badminton players. While on one hand we saw some young players emerging, the star players did not make a mark in this 2019 BWF Season.
It has been said that the new rule of Badminton World Federation implemented in 2018 is the reason for the drop in form for the Indian shuttlers. According to the new rule, it is mandatory for Top Committed Players to play in all the three Super 1000, all five Super 750, and aleast four out of 7 Super 500 tournaments. The top fifteen singles players and top ten doubles pairs in the World Ranking come under this category. Upon breaking this rule, the players could be fined upto $5,000. Injured players who submit the relevant medical certificates given relief from this rule.
This year saw Saina Nehwal and Srikanth Kidambi battle injuries, making it a lot difficult for them to participate regularly in the tournaments. With the Tokyo Olympics all set to take place next year, many players also made themselves unavailable to play in order to prepare for the quadrennial event.
However, many Indian players brought laurels to the country this year. We are putting down a list of top five Indian badminton players who shined in the year and won the hearts of the Indian badminton fans.
#5 Saina Nehwal
The former World No. 1 female badminton player struggled with injuries in 2019. After an amazing 2018 year, when the Hyderabad based player won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games, Saina Nehwal started 2019 with a semifinal exit from Malaysia Masters.
Within two weeks, Saina won the Indonesia Masters, her first Super 500 title. She won the finals after Spain's Carolina Marin retired from the match in the first set itself.
Since then, Saina failed to reach the finals in the BWF World Tour and finished the year with just one title. She also announced her withdrawal from the upcoming Premier Badminton League 2020 citing injury reasons.