New Delhi: Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Saturday created history by becoming the first Indian woman to be ranked World No.1.
Saina reached the summit after Ratchanok Intanon defeated All England Badminton champion Carolina Marin in the first semifinal of the India Open Super Series badminton tournament in New Delhi on Saturday.
The Olympic bronze medallist is in the hunt for her maiden India Open crown as she reached her maiden semifinal at the event on Friday by beating Indonesia’s Hana Ramadhini 21-15, 21-12 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Saina led 10-6 early on but Hana blasted off four straight points to catch up with the Indian. However, Saina slowly increased the gap with her rival to eventually win the first game.
The Indian dished out a better game in the second, as she entered the break with a healthy 11-4 lead and capitalized on the advantage as her opponent crumbled.
Saina will play Japan’s Yui Hashimoto in the second semifinal on Saturday.
Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to reach the summit of the world rankings.