Saina shuttles her way to #1

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New Delhi: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal regained the number one position in international rankings after China’s Li Xuerui dropped a couple of rungs to third in the latest list issued on Thursday.

Saina, the first Indian woman shuttler to be world number one after her India Open Grand Prix Gold triumph earlier this month, had dropped to second place following her semi-final finish in the Malaysia Open Super Series.

She skipped last week’s Singapore Open Super Series but gained in the rankings after Xuerui also pulled out from the tournament, leading to loss of two positions in the women’s singles chart.

The Hyderabad-based player has several firsts to her credit in Indian badminton. She was the first to be a junior world champion, besides being the first to clinch a Super Series title.

Initially groomed by former All England champion Pullela Gopichand, Saina is currently under the tutelage of former national champion Vimal Kumar.

The path-breaker was awarded the country’s highest sporting honour – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award – in 2010.

Meanwhile, P V Sindhu dropped out of the top 10 and was placed 12th this week after slipping three spots.

In the men’s rankings, K Srikanth retained the fourth spot, while P Kashyap rose a rung to 14th owing to his semi-final finish in the Singapore Open.

H S Prannoy, who ended a quarter-finalist in Singapore, slid one spot to be 15th in the rankings.

(With inputs from PTI)

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