New Delhi: Riding on her maiden Denmark Open title triumph last Sunday, India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal gained a position to climb up to third spot in the latest World badminton ranking announced on Thursday.
The London Olympics Bronze medallist Indian is now just one step away from regaining her world number two status as a semi-final spot in the ongoing French Open will help her to topple Olympic champion Li Xuerui to the second place.
The 22-year-old Saina on Thursday reached the quarter-finals of the French Open after a comfortable 21-16 21-13 victory over Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand. She is likely to take on seventh seeded Ratchanok Intanon tomorrow for a place in the semi-final. Tipped to win the French Open, Saina (80361.7444) will fetch 6420 points by just reaching the semifinal, which will be good enough to surpass Xuerui's (85926.7153) ranking points and regain her second place.
Saina had attained her career-best ranking of world number two in December 2010 after her victories at Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, besides the Indian Grand Prix and Commonwealth Games gold medal. Among others, Parupalli Kashyap is still the best Indian male shuttler at 22nd place. He lost two places as he skipped the Denmark and French Open.
Ajay Jayaram has improved one place to rank 26, while Sourabh Verma jumped two places to be placed 30th. RMV Gurusaidutt is ranked 43rd.