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Saina Nehwal just a win away from World Championships crown

othersports Updated: Aug 16, 2015 12:34 IST
Saina Nehwal

India's Saina Nehwal hits a return against Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong during their women's singles match at the 2015 World Championships badminton tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 12, 2015. (AFP Photo)

India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal is moments away from entering a hall of fame as she takes on World No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain in the badminton World Championships on Sunday.

Nehwal scripted history on Saturday by becoming the first Indian to enter the women's single final of the coveted tournament, beating Indonesian Lindaweni Fanetri 21-17, 21-17. This year's World Championships are being held in Jakarta.

"I never thought I'd reach the final," said Nehwal, an Olympic bronze medallist.

Nehwal holds a 3-1 advantage in career meetings against the Marin, who defeated the Indian shuttler in the final of this year's All England Championships.

"With Carolina Marin in the final, it will be tricky. She has some fast-paced strokes. It will be a different match compared to the All England final since the conditions are different," World No. 2 Nehwal said.

If Nehwal wins the gold, it would be India's fifth medal at the World Championship after PV Sindhu clinched the bronze twice in 2013 and 2014, and Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa notched up a bronze in women's doubles at the 2011 edition. Legendary shuttler Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win a bronze in the 1983 edition.

Read: Never thought I'd reach final: Saina Nehwal on World C'ships