Nehwal in 2011
|Birth name||Saina Nehwal|
17 March 1990 |
|Height||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Weight||57 kg (125 lb)|
|Highest ranking||1 (2 April 2015)|
|Current ranking||10 (22 December 2016)|
Yes, my mom does keep making references to marriage, like all mothers do, but it's only in a lighter mood… she just jokes.
Both my parents were amateur badminton players. My father is a scientist and wanted me to be a doctor. But my mom was very aggressive and loved badminton. She pushed me right from the age of nine to take up the sport.
I never believed that India could win a medal in badminton because the competition is so tough.
Badminton will gain momentum in a big manner after my win in Olympics. More players will participate in the game now.
I don't think I have the ability or patience to teach badminton to others.
I really thank my parents for giving me the good sense to not get into anything wrong. There are many people around who like controversies, and I actually wonder how do they do it. I don't have the courage to get into controversies. There are people who love it; I find it silly.
I enjoy three meals a day, and 90 per cent of what I eat is vegetarian and homemade. I occasionally eat non-vegetarian, and chicken preparations are my favourite.
My uncles and other relatives are against encouraging girls in every aspect, and that includes sports. I hardly interact with them. My parents are more open. They back me all the way.
I'm a normal girl. I don't go out much, and I don't know what is enjoyment.
Any girl who likes watching movies would like to work in them and would want to do all of that. I'm also one of them. But people know me for badminton and love me for it. So I'd stick to it right now. But maybe after badminton, I'll think about it.
I do not fear anybody on the field or in society, but I fear at night when I am away from my parents. I am scared of the unknown described in horror movies.
I was really surprised when I was told that my grandmother did not come to see me till a month after my birth. I was born seven years after my only sister Chandranshu, and my birth was a big disappointment for her.
My dream is to see India as a nation of well-looked-after and respected sportspeople in all fields.
I am a huge Bollywood fan, and my favourite actor of all time is Shah Rukh Khan.
My philosophy is to not be scared of anyone. If I play well, great; if I don't, I learn from the match and move on.
I have always wanted an Olympic medal. I always wanted to see India's national flag going up at the podium.
When people say I have become a celebrity, I remind them of fame's flip side. For instance, if I want to watch a movie in a cinema, I have to enter through a side exit just before the film begins and leave by the same exit before the credits roll.
Unlike most youngsters who have school as their 'second home' where they meet and make friends, for me playtime has been at the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. When I am not playing a tournament, my days are spent at the Academy with my coaches, physiotherapists and colleagues, who are like family. We laugh and have so much fun.
I am a human being. When you are frustrated, you do cry. It's more than once that I cried.
At nine, my mom used to tell me she saw an Olympic medalist in me. I used to take it as a joke, but she was very serious.
I cannot believe there is caste system in society; I cannot believe people are judged on the basis of their prosperity.
When I was a kid, my parents would play badminton, but I hardly joined them. I'd just pick up their racquets and fiddle around. Check out how the racquet was made… toss it around to see how light it was! At the time, I didn't even know I'd play badminton.