Saina Nehwal created history on Saturday, becoming the first Indian woman shuttler to attain the world No 1 ranking after her closest challenger for the spot, Spain's Carolina Marin, lost in the India Open Super Series semi-finals in New Delhi.
The ace Indian shuttler made sure of the top ranking even before she got the better of Japan's Yui Hashimoto 21-15, 21-11 in the second semi-final of the $275,000 Yonex Sunrise Super series event at the Siri Fort sports complex.
Though the official rankings will be out only next Thursday, the 25-year-old Indian is assured of her ascent to the top following Marin's defeat.
The World and All England champion lost to Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon in the first semi-final.
Saina will take over the top ranking from Li Xuerei of China.
Prakash Padukone had the distinction of being the No. 1 men's badminton player, but Saina is the first Indian woman to achieve the ranking.
The London Olympic bronze-medallist has won a staggering 14 international titles in her glorious career, and, most recently, became the first Indian woman to make the final of the prestigious All England Championships in Birmingham.
The London Olympics bronze medallist had sailed past Indonesia's Hana Ramadhini 21-15, 21-12 in last eight on Friday to stay in contention for the No 1 spot.