Saina Nehwal, who finished 2015 as world number 2 in the BWF women's ranking, had a mixed bag of a year with some runners up finish -- All England, China Open and World Championships. She also emerged triumphant in the India Open and Syed Modi International.
Though attaining the world number one ranking during the year and winning few titles might have been a major highlight in 2015, injuries were a major cause of concern, which prevented Saina from playing at an optimum level. Had she not been troubled with injuries, Saina could have won a few more titles this year.
Due to injuries, the India shuttler, who has set a benchmark for herself in major tournaments, could not deliver as she was uncharacteristically knocked out of the Japan Open and Denmark Open in the initial rounds. With injuries posing as a major obstacle, other shuttlers such as Carolina Marin played some quality badminton to finish the year as world number one. Marin also defeated Saina in the All England Open and World Championships final.
Saina, who managed to defeat Marin in the BWF World Superseries Finals 2015, was knocked out of the group stages in the year-end mega competition in Dubai, which was another disappointment. Saina failed to match her standards in 2015, hence she will be more than eager to start 2016 with a bang. The Rio Olympics gold medal will be her biggest priority in 2016.
Apart from Saina, PV Sindhu gradually got into the groove in the latter stages of the year as she won the Macau Open and finished runners up in the Denmark Open after an impressive run in the competition, defeating quality players.
In the men's arena, Kidambi Srikanth, who had started the year in a bright manner winning the Swiss Open in March, looked good in the first half of the year, but gradually began to be knocked out in the first few rounds of the competition. Apart from winning the Swiss Open, Srikanth also emerged triumphant in the India Open and finished runners up in the Indonesian Masters and Syed Modi International. Srikanth finished the year as world number nine.
Another Indian shuttler, Parupalli Kashyap, who always shows a lot of promise at the international stage, may have won some big matches, but only has Syed Modi International triumph to show for his performance this year. The India shuttler needs to be consistent in 2016 if he is to earn a name among the top shuttlers around the world.
Overall, Indian shuttlers had a decent year with a few titles in their kitty with some near misses, but with quality players in the circuit, they can definitely come up with a better 2016 calendar year and bring laurels to India and certify India as a superpower in world badminton.