When is Saina Nehwal’s much-awaited return ?

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When is Saina Nehwal's much-awaited return ?

Kolkata: The Indian badminton fraternity is now in a flutter following PV Sindhu’s avalanche of success at the Tokyo Olympics, with the two-time Olympic medalist’s face plastered over glossy magazine covers. Meanwhile, everyone is wondering where India’s first badminton queen, Saina Nehwal, is, with less than a week before the renowned Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, commence on October 9th in Aarhus, Denmark.

The Haryanvi women was the first Indian badminton player to go out there and seemingly do the impossible – with boorish obstinacy and gritty mental strength, fuelled by the dream to be the World No. 1 and an Olympic medallist. Ticking these boxes early into her career, Saina Nehwal won the bronze at the 2012 London Olympics and became the World No. 1 in 2015 and took Indian badminton to unparalleled heights.

Regrettably, Saina Nehwal, now 31, has had an injury-plagued career that has kept her from reaching her peak form in recent years. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic hampered Nehwal’s ability to compete in enough tournaments to secure a top 15 ranking in time for the Tokyo Olympics. Since she missed Tokyo, Nehwal has kept a low profile in terms of her badminton activities. Nehwal was not in India’s squad for the recently concluded Sudirman Cup, in which India had an extremely disappointing performance.

It’s been a long time coming to see Saina Nehwal back in action, especially since PV Sindhu isn’t around to steady the shaky ship of Indian badminton. Saina Nehwal’s only recent news came from the arena of a different sport – chess. Nehwal, along with Suhani Shah, has stepped into uncharted territory, co-owning a team called Saina and Suhani’s Quintessential Queens for the Chess Super League, which will be held from October 11th to 17th.

 

The 2020 Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, which is team competitions, will take place concurrently with the Chess Super League. Saina Nehwal has been nominated to the Uber Cup squad, which will begin on September 9th in Aarhus, Denmark.

While there have been no glimpses into Nehwal’s badminton activities prior to the tournament, expectations are strong that the renowned shuttler will attempt a comeback at the Uber Cup and return to badminton after 196 days to bring glory to the sport!

 

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