What next for Indian women’s badminton after Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu? Not much

The gap between the two Olympic medallists and the rest in the women’s singles circuit is huge.

Indian men are enjoying a purple match in the world badminton circuit. An Indian has won three Superseries titles and recorded two runners-up finishes in men’s singles since the Rio Olympics.

India’s men have also showed the depth in numbers for the last few years. India currently have four shuttlers in the top-25 and six in the top-35 in men’s singles. Four of them will be playing in the World Championship in August.

On the women’s side, however, it is a completely different story. Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are the only two Indians in the top-40. The gap between Nehwal’s No 15 and the next-best ranked Indian is huge. In fact, there are only five other Indian women in the top 100.

Nehwal and Sindhu have held India’s flag high in the world of badminton for the better part of the last decade. While Nehwal, at 27, won’t be around for long, Sindhu is just 21, in the world’s top five and has perhaps not even reached her peak. India seems sorted on the women’s singles side for at least the next five years with Sindhu. But what after her?

Rituparna Das

Age: 20

World ranking: 47

Win-loss record: 65-33

Biggest senior international title win: 2016 Polish International

Twenty-year-old Rituparna Das is the reigning national champion, but has struggled to make much of an impact in international tournaments. Considered the most talented among the second rung, Rituparna has constantly struggled with her fitness and is very injury prone. Apart from her title win at the 2016 Polish International, she hasn’t won anything of note. She reached the quarter-finals of the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold in January, before playing her first ever Superseries tournament at the India Open, where she lost in the round of 16 to Olympic champion Carolina Marin. At the Singapore Open Superseries, she was beaten in the first round itself by Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Ya Ching. She lost in the first round again at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold to eventual champion Ratchanok Intanon.

Tanvi Lad

Age: 24

World ranking: 63

Win-loss record: 58-70

Biggest senior international title win: 2014 Bahrain International Challenge

Tanvi Lad first came into the spotlight by winning the 2014 Bahrain International Challenge, after finishing runner-up at the tournament in 2012 and again at the Swiss International a year later. She has also done reasonably well in team events, winning bronze at the 2014 Asian Games and the Uber Cup in 2014 and 2016. However, despite being 24 years of age, she has never broken into the top 50 in the world and struggles to get past the opening rounds of Superseries and Grand Prix Gold tournaments. Lad has qualified for the 2017 World Championships in Glasgow, but her negative win-loss record would point towards another early exit.

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde

Age: 20

World ranking: 64

Win-loss record: 89-36

Biggest senior international title win: Gold at 2016 South Asian Games

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde has won the national championship in Under-10, 13, 15, 17, 19 and seniors, but her biggest claim to fame is beating PV Sindhu in the final of the 2016 South Asian Games women’s singles tournament. Another significant title win was at the Russian Open Grand Prix last year, when she was just 19. Another budding prospect from India’s chief national coach P Gopichand’s academy, Gadde has age on her side to launch an assault up the rankings, where her highest position so far has been No 49. In the last 12 months, she has struggled with jaundice and injuries and that has affected her progress.

Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli

Age: 19

World ranking: 79

Win-loss record: 19-20

Biggest senior international title win: None

Sri Krishna Priya is a new kid on the block and has surprisingly risen the world ranking graph despite making her senior circuit debut only last year. She learnt the basics of the sport under Mohammad Ali and then trained under SM Arif before joining the Gopichand academy. The 19-year-old has represented India in the Asian and World junior meets and also reached the finals of two All India Ranking tournaments last year.

Saili Rane

Age: 24

World ranking: 100

Win-loss record: 71-54

Biggest senior international title win: None

The diminutive youngster from Mumbai has been a regular face on the national and international circuits for a few years now. While she has registered a few good wins in the last few years, Rane hasn’t managed produce consistent results even at the national level.

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Ten awesome TV shows to get over your post-GoT blues

With those withdrawal symptoms kicking in, all you need is a good rebound show.

Hangovers tend to have a debilitating effect on various human faculties, but a timely cure can ease that hollow feeling generally felt in the pit of the stomach. The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale has left us with that similar empty feeling, worsened by an official statement on the 16-month-long wait to witness The Great War. That indeed is a long time away from our friends Dany, Jon, Queen C and even sweet, sweet Podrick. While nothing can quite replace the frosty thrill of Game of Thrones, here’s a list of awesome shows, several having won multiple Emmy awards, that are sure to vanquish those nasty withdrawal symptoms:

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2. Westworld

What do you get when the makers of the Dark Knight Trilogy and the studio behind Game of Thrones collaborate to remake a Michael Crichton classic? Westworld brings together two worlds: an imagined future and the old American West, with cowboys, gun slingers - the works. This sci-fi series manages to hold on to a dark secret by wrapping it with the excitement and adventure of the wild west. Once the plot is unwrapped, the secret reveals itself as a genius interpretation of human nature and what it means to be human. Regardless of what headspace you’re in, this Emmy-nominated series will absorb you in its expansive and futuristic world. If you don’t find all of the above compelling enough, you may want to watch Westworld simply because George RR Martin himself recommends it! Westworld will return for season 2 in the spring of 2018.

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3. Big Little Lies

It’s a distinct possibility that your first impressions of this show, whether you form those from the trailer or opening sequence, will make you think this is just another sun-kissed and glossy Californian drama. Until, the dark theme of BLL descends like an eerie mist, that is. With the serious acting chops of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman as leads, this murder mystery is one of a kind. Adapted from author Liane Moriarty’s book, this female-led show has received accolades for shattering the one-dimensional portrayal of women on TV. Despite the stellar star cast, this Emmy-nominated show wasn’t easy to make. You should watch Big Little Lies if only for Reese Witherspoon’s long struggle to get it off the ground.

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4. The Night of

The Night Of is one of the few crime dramas featuring South Asians without resorting to tired stereotypes. It’s the kind of show that will keep you in its grip with its mysterious plotline, have you rooting for its characters and leave you devastated and furious. While the narrative revolves around a murder and the mystery that surrounds it, its undertones raises questions on racial, class and courtroom politics. If you’re a fan of True Detective or Law & Order and are looking for something serious and thoughtful, look no further than this series of critical acclaim.

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As the name suggests, AHS is a horror anthology for those who can stomach some gore and more. In its 6 seasons, the show has covered a wide range of horror settings like a murder house, freak shows, asylums etc. and the latest season is set to explore cults. Fans of Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange are in for a treat, as are Lady Gaga’s fans. If you pride yourself on not being weak of the heart, give American Horror Story a try.

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At its heart, Empire is a simple show about a family business. It just so happens that this family business is a bit different from the sort you are probably accustomed to, because this business entails running a record label, managing artistes and when push comes to shove, dealing with rivals in a permanent sort of manner. Empire treads some unique ground as a fairly violent show that also happens to be a musical. Lead actors Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard certainly make it worth your while to visit this universe, but it’s the constantly evolving interpersonal relations and bevy of cameo appearances that’ll make you stay. If you’re a fan of hip hop, you’ll enjoy a peek into the world that makes it happen. Hey, even if you aren’t one, you might just grow fond of rap and hip hop.

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7. Modern Family

When everything else fails, it’s comforting to know that the family will always be there to lift your spirits and keep you chuckling. And by the family we mean the Dunphys, Pritchetts and Tuckers, obviously. Modern Family portrays the hues of familial bonds with an honesty that most family shows would gloss over. Eight seasons in, the show’s characters like Gloria and Phil Dunphy have taken on legendary proportions in their fans’ minds as they navigate their relationships with relentless bumbling humour. If you’re tired of irritating one-liners or shows that try too hard, a Modern Family marathon is in order. This multiple-Emmy-winning sitcom is worth revisiting, especially since the brand new season 9 premiers on 28th September 2017.

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Headlined by James Franco and Maggi Gyllenhaal, The Deuce is not just about the dazzle of the 1970s, with the hippest New York crowd dancing to disco in gloriously flamboyant outfits. What it IS about is the city’s nooks and crannies that contain its underbelly thriving on a drug epidemic. The series portrays the harsh reality of New York city in the 70s following the legalisation of the porn industry intertwined with the turbulence caused by mob violence. You’ll be hooked if you are a fan of The Wire and American Hustle, but keep in mind it’s grimmer and grittier. The Deuce offers a turbulent ride which will leave you wanting more.

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9. Dexter

In case you’re feeling vengeful, you can always get the spite out of your system vicariously by watching Dexter, our favourite serial killer. This vigilante killer doesn’t hide behind a mask or a costume, but sneaks around like a criminal, targeting the bad guys that have slipped through the justice system. From its premier in 2006 to its series finale in 2013, the Emmy-nominated Michael C Hall, as Dexter, has kept fans in awe of the scientific precision in which he conducts his kills. For those who haven’t seen the show, the opening credits give an accurate glimpse of how captivating the next 45 minutes will be. If it’s been a while since you watched in awe as the opening credits rolled, maybe you should revisit the world’s most loved psychopath for nostalgia’s sake.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Hotstar and not by the Scroll editorial team.