Never thought I would reach World Championships final: Saina Nehwal

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Jakarta, Aug 15: Moments after becoming the first Indian to enter the World Badminton Championship finals, Indian ace Saina Nehwal said she never expected to reach the summit clash and it was one of her "toughest" matches this week.

"I never thought I'd reach the final," said Saina after assuring herself of at least a silver following a 21-17 21-17 win over World No.29 Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia in the semi-finals of the women's singles.

Saina Nehwal celebrates after defeating Lindaweni Fanetri

"It was one of my toughest matches this week, I was playing against the crowd. Whatever points she got was due to my mistakes, due to the pressure. She was playing without any tension," said Saina.

"She has been coming back strongly in her matches in this tournament and I wasn't relaxed; I was alert all along for her fightback," she added.

The Olympic bronze medallist will next take on All England champion, World No.1 and defending champion Carolina Marin at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium tomorrow.

"I just want to do well tomorrow. 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," Saina said.

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 at the 1983 edition.

PTI

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