Saina Nehwal raises a toast to female athletes of India

After reclaiming the top spot in badminton singles rankings, Saina Nehwal is doubly delighted at fellow Hyderabadi tennis ace Sania Mirza's rise to the summit of the women's doubles rankings and says the twin achievements reflect the rise of women power in the domain of Indian sports.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal 

"Sania Mirza is a big name in the world of tennis, she is the numero uno in her game. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours," she said.

"Women in sports have come up in a big way in recent past and I congratulate all of them, including Mary Kom, Krishna Poonia, Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari, Heena Sidhu and Sania Mirza," Nehwal added.

"It is good that women power is visible in sports," she said, crediting the central government's sports policies.

Mirza was elevated to the No 1 spot in the women's doubles rankings, according to the latest Women's Tennis Association (WTA) list released on April 13.

Nehwal became the first Indian women to be crowned World No 1 on March 29 after her Indian Open Grand Prix triumph.

But she dropped to the second place, overtaken by China's Li Xuerui, following her semi-finals exit in the Malaysia Open. But she regained the top slot after Li pulled out of Singapore Open.

"I am proud to be World No 1 in badminton. It is really tough to reach the pinnacle in badminton... it took me five years to realise my dream as I became World No 2 in 2010," she said.

Eye on Rio
Nehwal said her ultimate aim is the Rio Olympics. "I, as a badminton player, will give my 100 percent for my sport. I have to show better results in the World Cup. Many Superseries are lined up this year and ultimately our goal is Rio Olympics," the 25-year-old said.

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