This is the link to a piece I wrote about Saina after one of her matches in Thailand in January 2021

This is the link to my new article about Saina

I posted a request on Twitter (@womensbadminton) for some quotes to explain why Saina Nehwal is so loved because I want to use some of them in a blog post. Here is a selection for you to enjoy & thanks to everyone who contributed. She really must be the most beloved in all India!

Xinhua/Alamy Stock Photo

“In my childhood days, all my cousins and I used to play cricket in the summer holidays and we didn’t know what Badminton is. But after the 2012 Olympics Badminton became our favourite game and now all my cousins are playing Badminton only. And the reason for this change is Saina…” By Sasimanu

“She made an entire nation believe that with hard work and passion Indians can reach the very top in world badminton and consistently win titles. Making a big space for badminton in a cricket mad nation is not easy, now badminton is the 2nd most popular sport in India” By Arun saina fan

“I think, she was a lone warrior against mighty Chinese players in her early days!!! Still she is capable of wonders now!!!” By Sports Desk

“Earlier there were days when China was the absolute champion in WS discipline. From 1983 there were only two non Chinese players who won GOLD until 2011. In that difficult time a non Chinese player came to this Earth to challenge the Chinese wall” By Pranay9Saina

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“She may not be the BEST player ever in WS history…but she told India that it can also win medals in international badminton…If you ask any child in India…they may identify Saina but not Syed Modi, Prakash or Gopichand…” By Pranay9Saina

“The definition of Indian badminton. She made the world of badminton look at India…it was a time, the Chinese team had to find a strategy for China Vs Saina game. The oldest women singles player in circuit inside top 30” By Naresh Naidu

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“Because…she is the consistent player!! and she never gives up…absolute fighter…and she is the reason for the popularity of badminton in India…the rise of Indian badminton…luv u Saina” By A!shu Riya

“It will take guts to be like her: mental strength, fitness, coming back from injuries, struggling, her focus, stubborn never give up attitude, good behaviour on court and off court, what not! @NSaina is love, she inspired so many and is inspiring!” By Telaprolu Viswanadha

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“We love Saina…there is something in her which others don’t have…she changed the entire atmosphere of Indian badminton!! One thing to add, when she was born her grandparents did not celebrate because they were expecting a baby boy…see what a baby girl can do!! By Abhinav Bhardwaj

“Yes she is the most beloved badminton player in India of all time” by Naresh Naidu

“Not just women’s badminton, I think Saina is instrumental for the paradigm shift in the last decade or so in Indian badminton – both women and men…she brought the conviction and consistency back, which was earlier present in patches” By Ritu

“Not just for India. She was a game changer for the global WS circuit. She was one of the first to challenge and penetrate China’s dominance in WS successfully. The was a famous phrase ‘Saina vs China’ around 2008-12” By Kamal Kumar

“Saina honestly did something amazing for Indian badminton…I literally had never watched badminton until she started winning. She actually carved out a space for a sport not very popular in India – especially for women – and now it’s so much better.” By September

“First watched her when I was little, it was 2008 if I remember correctly. She was so young and already making history for Indian badminton” By GEL

“To me, @NSaina is the pioneer. The first breach in the Chinese wall. The one that really opened the proverbial door to an entire generation of players from @CarolinaMarin to @Pvsindhu1” By Arun Cavale

“The longevity that Saina possesses is her greatest trait. Further, the mental strength she has is incomparable. Talking about quotes we can say ‘don’t limit your challenges challenge your limits’ which is apt for @NSaina” By Khushi Upadhyay

“Because it’s Saina who changed the face of women’s badminton in India!!! It’s Saina who is truly a fighter who never gives up the game!! Truly, she is among one of the best women #badminton player to date…!!!” By Sports Desk

“Influential person for India’s badminton. No doubt about that” By Podcast Tepak Bulu

“For me Badminton = Saina. Whenever I used to see sports news it was only cricket news…after Saina won World Junior Championship, Badminton was also news in Indian sports. That’s why I love Saina” By RavaLi Priya

“Saina is heart and soul of Indian badminton…’She is a fighter till death even ensures win or a respectful defeat before final breath’ By Abhinav Bhardwaj

“Because after seeing Saina go vs China that we started believing that we can match the Chinese” By Menaka S

“Because she inspired an entire nation into believing we have a chance in this game” By basil

“Saina has created a limelight for Indian badminton, especially women’s. In India it is difficult to manage things, from that situation she proved her self, defeating legendary Chinese and she has inspired many young people in her badminton career!” By Telaprolu Viswanada

“I think she made getting podium finishes seem POSSIBLE” By Ritu

“She has shown our people that you can be on the podium in World Series tournaments against the odds. She basically paved the way for badminton’s vast recognition in India not only by grabbing the attention of a cricket crazy nation but also paving the path for some huge financial gains through advertising” By Praveen

“Never give up attitude, mental strength, determination, hardworking, down to earth, and what not!!! Isn’t it enough to love Saina?” By Arshneet Singh

“Because when I was in school it was my turn to read the newspaper. In the sports news I read about her winning some tournament – maybe Singapore I have forgotten – she is the first badminton person from India I got to know…” By Poornima

“Saina Nehwal is the 4th most followed female athlete in the world on twitter after Serena, Sharapova, Sania” By Arun Saina fan

If you enjoyed this, follow the link to my article about that other Indian Badminton superstar P V Sindhu

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