Saina Nehwal (born March 17, 1990 in Dhindar, Hisar, Haryana) is an Indian Khel Ratna badminton player currently ranked 5 in the world by Badminton World Federation. Saina is the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. She achieved this feat by winning the Bronze medal at the London Olympics 2012 on 4 August 2012. She is the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships. Saina was also the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesia Open with a victory over higher-ranked Chinese Wang Lin in Jakarta on June 21, 2009. Saina is supported by the Olympic Gold Quest.
Saina won her second career Super Series title by winning the Singapore Open title on June 20, 2010. She completed a hat-trick in the same year by winning the Indonesian Open on June 27, 2010. This win resulted in her rise to 3rd ranking and subsequently to No. 2. Later in the same year she also won Hong Kong Super Series on December 12, 2010. After experiencing a poor 2011 season, Saina become the first Indian singles player to reach the summit stage of year-ending Super Series Finals defeating two-time All England champion and former World No. 1 Tine Baun in the semi-finals, a feat she repeated in the quarterfinals in the London Olympics 2012. Though she lost in the semi-finals of London Olympics 2012 to Wang Yihan, she secured the bronze medal against Wang Xin. After Xin won the first game 21-18, Xin had to walk out of the match due to aggravation of her knee injury, thus making Saina the winner.
Previously coached by S. M. Arif, a Dronacharya Award winner, Saina is the reigning Indian national junior champion and is currently coached by Indonesian badminton legend Atik Jauhari since August 2008, with the former All England champion and national coach Pullela Gopichand being her mentor.
Saina Nehwal was born in a Jat family to Dr Harvir singh Nehwal and Usha Nehwal in the city of Hisar, Haryana and completed first few years of her schooling from Campus School. Harvir singh initially worked in CCS HAU and they then had their residence in the University Campus. He later shifted to Hyderabad & so Saina spent her growing years in Hyderabad, India. Her foray into the world of badminton was influenced by her father Dr. Harvir Singh, a scientist at the Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad and her mother Usha Nehwal, both of whom were former badminton champions in Haryana. She is the top ranked player (women) in Indian Badminton history. In 2012, journalist and former NDTV editor T. S. Sudhir wrote a biography on Saina.