Badminton: Lukewarm 2011 for Saina
Saina Nehwal's struggle for form summed up a disappointing year for Indian Badminton, the rare high point of which was Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa's World Championships bronze medal.
After a highly successful 2010, during which Saina won a hat-trick of Super Series titles besides the Commonwealth Games gold medal, 2011 turned out to be a disappointing for the Indian as she could win only the Swiss Grand Prix Gold besides two runners-up finishes in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Image: Saina Nehwal
Jwala-Ashwini win some laurels
In women's doubles, however, Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair of Jwala and Ashwini added yet another feather to their cap, when they became the first Indian pair to win a bronze at the World Championships in London in August.
The duo also made it to the quarters at Korea Open and China Open.
In mixed doubles, however, Jwala and V Diju's ranking dwindled as they could not play many tournaments because of latter's back surgery, which kept him out of action for a long time this year.
Image: Jwala Gutta with Ashwini Ponnappa
Breakthrough year for Jayaram
Ajay Jayaram had a breakthrough year in men's singles as the Chennai-born shuttler reached the quarterfinals in his maiden World Championship.
A week later he reached the semifinal of Vietnam Open Grand Prix and also defeated good players such as Sho Sasaki of Japan, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia to achieve a career-best 24th rank in September.
Career-best rankings for Kashyap, Sindhu
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist P Kashyap, however, continued to be India's highest-ranked player in men's singles and he reached a career-best ranking of 20 early in the year before tumbling down.
He is currently ranked 25th.
The year 2011 also proved fruitful for youngsters with women's singles players PV Sindhu and Arundhati Pantawane and men's singles player Sourabh Verma putting up some stupendous performances.
Image: P Kashyap