New Delhi: Saina Nehwal endured a frustrating title drought but Indian badminton continued to move forward with the emergence of P V Sindhu as the next big sensation and the introduction of the ambitious Indian Badminton League this year.
Last year, Saina had the world at her feat as she became the first Indian to win a medal at the Olympics -- a bronze in London -- but what followed was a series of fitness issues and inconsistent form and it took a toll on her career.
The 23-year-old failed to defend her crowns in Indonesia, Denmark, Switzerland and Thailand and ended the year without a single title and slipped to world number six in the BWF rankings as well.
The girl from Hyderabad could not even make it to the finals of these events and her best finishes were at Malaysia Super Series Premier and All England Super Series Premier where she reached semifinals.
While Saina found the going tough, Sindhu hogged the limelight by becoming the first Indian woman to win a singles medal at the World championship in Guangzhou, China, besides winning two Grand Prix gold titles in the year.
The 18-year-old lanky shuttler won the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold and Macau Open Grand Prix Gold in April and December respectively.
The male shuttlers too broke new grounds with top player Parupalli Kashyap becoming only the second Indian shuttler after Pullela Gopichand to break into the top 10 of world rankings.
The 26-year-old Hyderabadi became the World No. 9 in January and then reached as high as world no 6, before falling out of the top 10.