Saina Nehwal Regains No.2 Spot

HYDERABAD, Dec 17(TOI): A week after losing her world No. 2 rank, Saina Nehwal regained it in the latest rankings released by the Badminton World Federation on Thursday.

Saina, who claimed the No. 2 spot for the first time in the 28th week (July 15), lost it in the 35th week before reclaiming it now.

Fresh from her stupendous triumph at the Hong Kong Super Series this Sunday, Saina is not thinking too much about her rankings progression. "My target was to stay in top-five by the end of the year. I am happy about that. But even after the Hong Kong victory I was not thinking about the rankings since we know that I would not reach the top spot. I think I'll slip a few rungs next week," Saina said.

That, however, is unlikely to affect the shuttler's spirits. "Holding the No. 2 rank for so many weeks (nine) is a bit exciting. Though my focus will be to win as many tournaments as possible, staying in the top bracket always feels good," she added.

The Indian ace, who will not be playing any tournament for the next four weeks, is set to lose a few more ranking points she gained last year. Saina has 68811.2637 points and is 2381.138 points behind world No. 1 Xin Wang of China. A strong performance at the Malaysian and Korea Super Series next year may help Saina grab the No. 1 spot. "We were not expecting the No. 2 rank this week. They have not reduced the 5000 points she won from the Syed Modi tournament. Once that is done she may move back to No. 4 spot next week," said Saina's father Harvir Singh Nehwal.

Coach Pullela Gopichand too is least bothered about the rankings. "How does it matter? She's anyway playing like a world No. 1 at the moment," the coach said.


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