Saina Nehwal's debut, under coach Nani Prasad, was in the under-10 Krishna Khaitan memorial tournament in Chennai. The eight-year-old reached the quarterfinal and won Rs500 for her efforts.
Since that day, Nehwal has gone on to achieve many a milestone, including reaching the top of the Badminton World Federation rankings in April. Some highlights:*
Philippines Open (2006)
Became the first Indian woman to win a four-star badminton tournament when she won the Philippines Open in 2006. The 16-year-old beat seventh seed Pei Xian Julia Wong of Malaysia.
World Junior Championship (2008)
Became the first Indian to win the World Junior Championship title. Also beat world number five Wang Chen of Hong Kong in the Beijing Olympics.
Indonesia Open (2009)
Became the first Indian to win a BWF Superseries title. Received the Arjuna Award in the same year.
Indonesia Open (2010)
Defended her title against Japanese shuttler Sayaka Sato. Became world number two, and won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Commonwealth Games (2010)
Beat Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia to win gold at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games. Also received the Padma Shri award.
Swiss Open (2011)
Crashed out of the Korea Open Superseries and Yonex All England Open, but thrashed South Korea’s Ji Hyun Sung to win the Swiss Open Grand Prix.
Indonesia Open (2012)
Beat world number three Li Xuerui of China to win the Indonesia Open for the third time.
London Olympics (2012)
Became the first Indian shuttler to win a medal (bronze) at the Olympics.
Denmark Open (2012)
Won the Denmark Open by defeating German shuttler Juliane Schenk.
Australian Open Superseries (2014)
Won the Australian Open. Of the eight Superseries titles that year, this was the first one to be won by a non-Chinese shuttler.
India Open and world number one (2015)
A dominating display over Thai shuttler Ratchanok Intanon won her the Indian Open title. Became the first Indian woman to become world number one.