NEHWAL Saina < Back  
Sport Badminton
CGA India   
Gender Women
Born 17 Mar 1990 in Hisar, IND
Height1.67 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Husband Parupalli Kashyap
Residence India
Occupation Athlete
Languages Hindi, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She began playing badminton at age eight at a summer training camp at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad, India.
Why this sport? Her parents were both badminton players.
Name of coach Pullela Gopichand [national], IND; Parupalli Kashyap [personal, husband], IND
Handedness Right
General Interest
Hero / Idol Indian badminton players Aparna Popat and Pullela Gopichand, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. (, 16 Aug 2015;, 07 Jun 2013;, 14 Sep 2007)
Injuries Her training was disrupted by shin, ankle, hip and wrist injuries during the 2019 season. In November 2019 she announced her withdrawal from the 2020 Premier Badminton League in order to rehabilitate from her injuries and prepare for the 2020 international season. (, 24 Nov 2019;, 19 Jul 2019;, 27 Jan 2019)

In March 2019 she was hospitalised after being diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis and mild pancreatitis during the Swiss Open in Basel, Switzerland. She withdrew from the event and returned to India. She had competed earlier in the month at the All England Championships in Birmingham, England, with stomach pains. (, 14 Mar 2019)

She sustained an ankle injury in December 2018. (, 07 Feb 2019)

She underwent knee surgery in August 2017. (, 05 Nov 2017)

She competed with a knee injury at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 27 Jan 2019)

She was forced to withdraw from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, due to a groin injury. (, 05 Nov 2016)

In 2013 she suffered various minor injuries, including a fractured toe and an injured ankle. (, 24 Dec 2013)

In 2012 she was troubled by a persistent right knee injury. (, 15 May 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto "My philosophy is to not be scared of anyone. If I play well, great. If I don't, I learn from the match and move on." (, 01 Mar 2021)
Awards and honours In 2016 she received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award given by the Indian government. (ONS, 20 Jul 2016)

She was named Sports Illustrated India's Sportsperson of the Year in 2009 and 2013. (, 01 Oct 2013)

In 2010 she received a Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Indian government. (, 29 Aug 2013)

In 2010 she received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna [RGKR], India's highest honour for achievements in sport. (, 29 Aug 2013)

In 2009 she received an Arjuna Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements in badminton. (, 29 Aug 2013)

She was named 2009 CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in the sports category. (, 20 Dec 2013)

She was named 2008 Most Promising Player of the Year by the Badminton World Federation [BWF]. (ONS, 20 Jul 2016)
Other sports She has achieved a brown belt in karate. (ONS, 20 Jul 2016)
Milestones She claimed India's first medal in badminton at the Olympic Games, following her bronze medal in singles at the 2012 Games in London. She is also the first Indian badminton player to have competed at three Olympic Games, having participated at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 editions of the Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 31 Jul 2018; ONS, 20 Jul 2016;, 16 Aug 2015)

She became the first Indian female athlete to win an individual gold medal in badminton at the Commonwealth Games when she was victorious in singles at the 2010 Games in Delhi, India. (SportsDeskOnline, 23 Dec 2019)

In 2009 she became the first Indian badminton player to win a Badminton World Federation [BWF] Super Series title when she claimed victory in singles at the Indonesian Open in Jakarta, Indonesia. (SportsDeskOnline, 23 Dec 2019)

She became the first Indian badminton player to win gold at the world junior championships when she was triumphant in singles at the 2008 edition in Pune, India. (SportsDeskOnline, 23 Dec 2019)
Famous relatives Her husband Parupalli Kashyap has represented India in badminton, and reached the semifinals of the singles event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Her parents were both district badminton champions in Haryana, India. (, 21 Oct 2020; SportsDeskOnline, 28 Nov 2018;, 14 Nov 2018;, 16 Aug 2015; ONS, 20 Jul 2016)
Other information COACHING HUSBAND
Her husband and Indian badminton player Parupalli Kashyap began coaching her in 2018. "Earlier I used to be someone who didn't need much coaching from the outside, but after my [knee] surgery [in 2017] I feel I've become a more moody type of player, who needs to be boosted. I know I'm getting irritated at some points. But he's helping me come out of that situation, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. If the good way is not happening well with me, then he shouts at me. I know it's for my own good, but it pinches me at that point of time and I get that bit of [motivation]." (, 07 Feb 2019)

She considered retiring from the sport after competing with a knee injury at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and undergoing subsequent surgery the following year. "Somewhere deep in my heart, [I thought] maybe it is the end of my career. There is no secret to injuries, you have to face them and come back stronger. Over the last two to three years [speaking in 2019], I am getting injured a lot. I am trying to get better." (, 20 Feb 2019;, 27 Jan 2019)

In 2012 she published an autobiography titled 'Playing To Win, My Life On And Off Court'. (, 08 Nov 2012)