Jwala Gutta and V Diju went into the BWF Super Series Master championship with very little training together because the former was laid low with a leg infection.
But the world No. 7 pair overcame lack of practice with an intelligent game plan to write their names in history books as the first Indian combination to reach the final of the prestigious tournament in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on Saturday.
The Indians defeated Hong Kong Super Series champions Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostuczyk of Poland 21-19, 21-11 in the first semifinal.
They will now face World Championship bronze medallists and top seeds Christinna Pedersen and Joachim Nielsen of Denmark for the Masters’ crown.
However, India’s top singles player, Saina Nehwal once again failed to cross the last four hurdle and went down to German Juliane Schenk 21-18, 21-18.
The world No. 7 was given the highest billing due to the withdrawal of higher ranked players but the 19-year-old could not make it count.
But Jwala-Diju were in no mood to let the opportunity slip and once they found their rhythm, they have been on a roll. The Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold champions lost their first league encounter before winning the next two to book their semifinal berth.
On Saturday, Jwala-Diju controlled the match throughout and mixed things up to keep their opponents guessing.
“The major difference today was the way we made the most of the experience we have gathered in the last two years,” Jwala told HT from Johor Bahru.
“Since I am still not in perfect shape, we went into the match without much expectation,” she said, adding they would take the same approach on Sunday.
The Indians are 1-1 head-to-head against the Danes and though they would like to treat the final as any other match, supporters back home would be hoping that they wear the Masters crown.