Why Did Saina Nehwal Stop Playing Badminton?

Saina Nehwal, India’s most successful badminton player, announced her retirement from the sport in September 2020. She is India’s first female world number one badminton player, and she has achieved numerous titles and medals throughout her career. Since her retirement, many have been wondering why she decided to stop playing badminton. Here, we take a look at the reasons behind Saina Nehwal’s retirement and her subsequent career plans.

Saina Nehwal’s Badminton Career

Saina Nehwal began playing badminton at the age of eight and went on to become one of the most successful badminton players in India. She won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics, becoming India’s first female badminton player to win an Olympic medal. She also won numerous titles throughout her career, such as the India Open in 2009 and 2010, the BWF Super Series Masters Finals in 2011, and the Commonwealth Games in 2014. She was also the first Indian female badminton player to be ranked world number one in 2015.

Injuries & Health Issues

One of the major reasons behind Saina Nehwal’s retirement was her health problems. She had been suffering from various injuries for a few years leading up to her retirement, and these injuries had been affecting her performances on the court. In 2019, she had to take a break from the sport due to a knee injury, and in 2020, she had to withdraw from the All England Open Badminton Championships due to an ankle injury.

The years of badminton had taken a toll on her body, and she felt that she was no longer able to give her best on the court. She said that she was feeling “mentally and physically drained” and that she needed to take a break from the sport in order to recover.

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Lack of Motivation

Another reason behind Saina Nehwal’s retirement is the lack of motivation she was feeling. She had been playing badminton for over a decade, and the thrill and excitement of competing at the highest level had started to wear off. She said that she was no longer feeling the same motivation and passion for the sport as she once did, which led to her decision to retire.

Lack of Support

Saina Nehwal has also stated that she felt a lack of support from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) throughout her career. She said that she felt she was not given the recognition she deserved for her achievements, and that this lack of appreciation and recognition had been a major factor in her decision to retire.

Future Plans

Saina Nehwal is now focusing on her post-retirement career plans. She is currently working on setting up her own badminton academy in Hyderabad, and she also plans to launch her own line of sports nutrition supplements. She is also looking forward to spending more time with her family and pursuing her other interests, such as writing and public speaking.


Saina Nehwal has had a long and successful career in badminton, and her retirement has left her fans and the badminton community in India feeling sad. However, her decision to retire was due to a combination of health issues, lack of motivation, and lack of support from the BAI. She is now focusing on her post-retirement career plans, and she is looking forward to a new chapter in her life.