New Delhi: Saina Nehwal, who created history by reaching the pinnacle of world badminton ranking, on Saturday said she had contemplated “quitting badminton” after last year’s World Championships.

Saina reaffirmed her status as the country’s most consistent performer in the international circuit by becoming the first Indian woman shuttler to attain the number one spot in world rankings.

Saina Nehwal

“I have taken some many hard decisions to get here. I kept losing to the top players all the time, in fact after last year’s World Championship I even thought of quitting badminton. It was a very dark time in my career. People were saying ‘Saina your career is finished,’” Saina said.

She added, “I then moved to Bangalore and my coach Vimal Kumar set a target of May this year to reach the number one rank. I did it in March itself!”

The badminton ace described her feat as an “unbelievable” achievement and vowed to work hard to be more consistent and maintain her numero uno status.

“It’s not that I was really looking up to it but I am very happy today. It’s something which is still unbelievable that I am the World No 1. When I will see myself there in the rankings chart, I can believe it,” Saina said when asked for her reaction.

Saina became the World no 1 even before she took the court for the semi-finals after her closest competitor Carolina Marin lost in the other last-four match against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon. Saina thrashed Hashimoto 21-15, 21-11 in a match that lasted for 43 minutes to set up a title clash with ex-world champion Intanon.