Saina a step from All-England title
Birmingham: London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal on Saturday scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to reach the finals of the All England Badminton Championship, the most prestigious tournament, with a straight-game victory over Sun Yu of China in the women’s singles competition here. The World No. 3 Indian, who reached the semifinals of the event in 2010 and 2013, defeated the unseeded Sun 21-13, 21-13 in a match that lasted for 50 minutes at the Barclaycard Arena. Saina is now just one step away from joining Indian legends Prakash Padukone (1980) and P Gopichand (2001) who have bagged the prestigious title in the past. The girl from Hyderabad, who will turn 25 in 10 days, will face reigning world champion Carolina Marin, seeded sixth, of Spain, who defeated Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying 21-18 21-11 in another semifinal clash on Sunday. Saina has a 3-0 record against the Spaniard. After disposing her nemesis Yihan Wang of China, third seed Saina was faced with the task of taming the towering Sun, ranked World No. 18, who had seen off the likes of Nichaon Jindapon, Li Xuerui and Ratnachok Intanon over the last three days.