K Srikanth at number 4 and Saina Nehwal at number 3 in Men’s singles and Women’s singles ranking of the World Badminton Association’s ranking in ranking are the torch bearers of Indian Badminton. Indian shuttlers clinched no less than eight individual titles, making India a dominant force at the international stage.
Saina Nehwal and K. Srikanth clinched Titles at China Super Series Premier and P.V. Sindhu bagging five Bronze, including a World Championship Medal, besides the historic Bronze Medals at Uber Cup and Asian Games, were the highlights of the year 2014. Saina scooped three Titles, Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, Aravind Bhat, Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy, all laid their hands on the crown at least once in 2014. Saurabh Verma and P.C. Thulasi also won Titles in International challenge category
Kidambi Srikanth: Young Kidambi Srikanth started the year 2014 ranking 47th and continued his meteoric rise in World Badminton as he ended the season by becoming only the third Indian male shuttler to break into the top-five. He reached a career-high fourth after entering the event in Dubai as World No.6 but he registered victories over Kento Momota, Tommy Sugiarto which catapulted him to World No.4. The 21-year-old Indian clinched the China Super Series Premier defeating the best shuttler ever, Lin Dan, in two games in the final.
It is noteworthy that just four months before the championship he was Intensive Care Unit with brain fever which made him miss the Common Wealth Game. Then he reached the semifinals of back-to-back Tournaments in Hong Kong and Dubai, jumped two places to join the elite club. Prakash Padukone and National Chief Coach Pullela Gopichand, were World Number 1 and number 4 respectively in the past. Srikanth’s first big breakthrough came in 2013, when he upstaged the then National Champion, Parupalli Kashyap, in the 2013 All India Senior National Championships at New Delhi. He lost the same tournament’s final to Kashyap in January 2015.
Saina Nehwal: After her fourth Indian Open Grand Prix Gold Title win on Sunday, where she beat World Champion Carolina Marin in three games in the final, World Number 3 Saina scraped past the seventh-ranked Spaniard 19-21, 25-23, 21-16 in a see-saw battle. Saina won three titles during 2014.
Parupalli Kashyap: Parupalli had a smoother ride to the final of recent International (Syed Modi) Badminton championship with his stiffest test coming in the semi-finals against Viktor Axelsen. The Dane was up a game and had his chances in the second at 20- all, but Parupalli edged past to level at a game apiece and then routed Axelsen in the decider: 18-21 22-20 21-7. He was able to use his greater experience to quell the fast-rising K Srikanth, the Commonwealth Games Champion though he was down two game points in both games but kept his composure to record a 23-21 23-21 win. This improved his World Ranking to Number 14 getting him back in Top-25.
P V Sindhu: Consecutive bronze medals at the World Championships with a bronze at the Common wealth Games, making it an unforgettable year for the 19 year old P.V. Sindhu. She pulled off upset wins against Wang Shixian and Bae Yong. She is ranked Ranked number 10 as of week ending 29 Jan 2015.
Jwala Gutta & Ashwini Ponnappa : Ranked number 15 as of week ending 29 Jan 2015. World Championship bronze medalist Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa broke into the Top 20.