Saina Nehwal, the golden girl of Indian badminton, gave the country a precious gift on the Independence Day when she smashed her way into history books by becoming the first Indian to reach the finals of the World Championships.
Her 21-17, 21-17 demolition of hapless Indonesian Lindaweni Fanetri on Saturday ensures Saina gets the silver. But going by her prowess, she will go all out to snatch the title and the gold medal.
After seven attempts, Saina has ensured that the elusive World Championships medal will find a place in her cabinet which has medals from 2012 Olympics, 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Uber Cup, Asian Games team championships, All England silver and numerous golds from Super Series events which include a great title win at the China Open last year.
In Jakarta on Saturday, Saina was like a street fighter, never leaving the shuttle and attacking constantly.
Saina now takes on the fantastic Carolina Marin of Spain, the defending champion, who defeated the Indian ace at the All England this year. Left-hander Marin is as aggressive and fast as Saina. Her net cross courts are breathtaking. This is where Saina has to be cautious and must think out-of-the-box to take the battle to Marin.
But, Saina has got all the experience and fighting spirit which will keep her in the hunt. There is no Chinese face amongst the four semi-finalists in women singles after three decades of overwhelming dominance. It just shows that India and the world is catching up.
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