New Delhi: Saina Nehwal takes on Carolina Marin on Sunday in the 2015 World Badminton Championship women's singles final in Jakarta.
The last time the duo played in a high-profile final, Marin stunned Nehwal at the All England Open in Birmingham. Since then, the Spaniard has emerged as force to be reckoned with in the badminton world.
Marin is of course the defending champion at this year's world championship, while Nehwal has registered her best ever performance at the showpiece event.
The Indian will be determined to go the distance this time as the world championship medal is currently missing from her cabinet.
Though Saina was not at best in the semi-final against unseeded local favorite Lindaweni Fanetri, the 25-year-old delivered an exceptional performance against Wang Yihan of China in the quarter-final.
Marin survived a minor scare against South Korean Sung Ji Hyun in her semi-final and despite being down 8-13 in the third game, she went on to advance 21-17, 15-21, 21-16.
Marin-Nehwal is a new and interesting rivalry developing in the world of badminton. Though Saina leads their head-to-head 3-1, Marin has proven her ability to deliver on the big occasion.
Ranked World No. 1 Marin's key strength is her mental toughness. The left-hander's ability to dig herself out of tough situations clearly makes her a very difficult opponent to play against.
Nehwal has the game to beat Marin. It only remains to be seen if the Indian can hold her nerve and avoid the repeat of a meltdown she underwent in England earlier this year where Marin beat her 16-21, 21-14, 21-7.