New Delhi: A brilliant Saina Newhal on India's 69th Independence Day made short work of her Indonesian opponent Lindaweni Fanetri to become first Indian to enter the final of World Badminton Championships in Jakarta.
The second-seeded Indian wrapped up the women's singles second semi-final in 55 minutes, winning 21-17, 21-17 at Istora Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday. She will play top-ranked and defending champion Carolina Marin of Spain in tomorrow's final.
Saina, who has a 2-1 head-to-head record against the 29th ranked Indonesian, entered as the favourite. But with a boisterous partisan crowd backing Fanetri, the 25-year-old Indian failed to dominate the proceeding. Fanetri led most of the time in the first game, before the 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist fought back in the latter stage. Saina won the game 21-17 with the Indonesian struggling due to an injured right knee.
The second game started in similar fashion, with both the players committing a series of unforced errors. But by the mid-point, the Indian started to dominate with some brilliant play from the centre of the court, covering both her sides. Fanetri failed to kept up with the pace and conceded the match 21-17.
Earlier in the day, top-ranked Marin was forced to a three set match by eighth-seeded South Korean Sung Ji Hyun. The 2015 All England Champion won the match 21-17, 15-21, 21-16 in ninety minutes to book her second successive World Championships finals.
Saina leads Marin 3-1 in head-to-head, with the lone defeat coming at the All England Final in March. The Indian had beaten Marin at the Syed Modi International final in three sets in January.
In the previous two meetings, Saina won comprehensively in straight set at 2014 Australian Open and 2013 Indonesian Open.