Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal has returned to the top 10 of Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings for the first time since February 2018, as per the latest list released Thursday, May 3.
Nehwal has risen two spots following consistent performances in the last few weeks. The 28-year-old had hit peak form at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where she led India to mixed team event gold medal.
The London Olympic bronze medalist also picked up her second individual CWG gold medal after defeating higher-ranked compatriot PV Sindhu in a much-anticipated all-Indian women's singles final on the final day of the quadrennial multi-sport spectacle.
Nehwal's improved confidence was on display at the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) last week as she collected her third bronze medal at the 2018 edition of the annual tournament, which was held in Wuhan, China.
The veteran shuttler, who is gearing up for Australian Open (starting May 8), had pushed world number one Tai Tzu Ying to the limits in a hard-fought semi-final before going down 25-27, 19-21.
Rio Olympic silver medalist Sindhu consolidated her third spot despite bowing out of BAC 2018 as early as in the quarter-final round.
Prannoy achieves career-best 8th position
Meanwhile, HS Prannoy achieved his career-best ranking of eight following his maiden bronze medal-winning performance at BAC. The 25-year-old had stunned world number two Son Wan Ho in the quarter-final before losing the semi-final to Chen Long.
Prannoy, the reigning national champion, had to bury the disappointment of missing out on a medal at CWG and he did exactly that to return home with a medal from Wuhan.
Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile, climbed two spots to the third position. The Guntur shuttler, who had reached the pinnacle of men's singles rankings earlier this year, failed to win a medal at BAC but finished with an individual silver in Gold Coast after faltering in the final hurdle against Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei.
Singapore Open 2017 champion Sai Praneeth has moved up a spot to 18th. Sameer Verma, who has reached the second round of ongoing New Zealand Open, has risen three spots to 26th.
Badminton rankings (Top 10 as of May 3, 2018)
|Men's singles||Women's singles|
|Viktor Axelsen (Den)||Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe)|
|Son Wan Ho (Kor)||Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn)|
|Kidambi Srikanth (Ind)||PV Sindhu (Ind)|
|Chen Long (Chn)||Ratchanok Intanon (Tha)|
|Shi Yuqi (Chn)||Chen Yufei (Chn)|
|Chou Tien Chen (Tpe)||Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn)|
|Lee Chong Wei (Mas)||Carolina Marin (Esp)|
|HS Prannoy (Ind)||Sung Ji Hyun (Kor)|
|Ng Ka Long (Hkg)||He Bingjiao (Chn)|
|Lin Dan (Chn)||Saina Nehwal (Ind)|