All England Championships: I lost my focus, admits Saina after loss
Indian shuttler loses 21-16, 14-21, 7-21 in the final to World Champion; meanwhile Carolina Marin, created another by becoming the first Spaniard ever to win an All-England title
Birmingham: Carolina Marin, the 21-year-old Andalucian who created one of the biggest sensations in badminton history last year, created another by becoming the first Spaniard ever to win an All-England title.
India's Saina Nehwal stands on the podium after being beaten by Carolina Marin in the All-England women's singles final in Birmingham yesterday. Pic.AP/PTI
Marin did that with a 16-21, 21-14, 21-7 women's singles win over India's Saina Nehwal, the World No 3.
And it was a remarkable result for someone from a country where until now little badminton has been played, and one which follows her startling capture of the world title in Copenhagen last year.
What made it all the more stunning was that Marin had never beaten Nehwal before and that she did so this time, having looked headed for defeat at a game and 6-10 down.
But she transformed both the tactical emphasis and the emotion of the match, and well before the end Nehwal's skills and movement seemed to have strangely evaporated.
I lost focus: Saina
"I just lost focus and began hurrying, which was not right," Nehwal said.
"Playing against top players anything can happen at any stage, and you can always get nervous at some point in time. That's what happened here."
Marin, meanwhile, was elated at her first win over Nehwal.
"This is quite amazing for me," said Marin. "I lost to her every time before, so to beat her like this, and in this tournament, is very special indeed. It was special when I won the world title — so many people met me at the airport — and this feels very special too."