After breaking into the elite zone of top-10 players, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman shuttler to be named most promising player of the year by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
The decision was taken at the council meeting of the BWF in Seoul on December 6, according to a statement issued by BWF vice-president V K Verma in Delhi on Monday.
The 18-year-old Saina's name was proposed along with three other players by the world badminton players' federation.
Saina had an incredible run this year, becoming the first Indian woman shuttler to win the Chinese Taipei Open, apart from winning the World junior crown and Commonwealth Youth Games gold medal in Pune.
She also reached the quarter-finals in the Beijing Olympics earlier this year.
Elated at being bestowed the honour, Saina said, "I am very excited and happy to get this honour. I never expected such an award but now that I have got it, it has motivated me a lot and given me a big boost.
"I just want to work even harder now and get more results," she added.