The world No. 3 is just one win away from becoming the first Indian woman to annex the prestigious crown. Among men, Prakash Padukone and her former coach Pullela Gopichand are the only players from the country to have achieved this phenomenal feat.
Her opponent in the final is sixth seed and current world champion Carolina Marin of Spain, who defeated Tzu Yin Tai of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 21-11.
Just hours after crushing her nemesis Wang Yihan 21-19, 21-6 in the quarterfinals on Friday, Saina steamrolled Sun Yu 21-13, 21-13 in a contest that looked like a duel between the mighty and the hapless.
Saina felt the mental side was the biggest part of the struggle. “It’s a big hurdle because many people think I should get to the final anyway – and that I should win every tournament I play,” she told reporters in Birmingham. “I like that, but it’s not easy. So I just watched Shah Rukh Khan’s films and tried to play my best.”
Saina has been on a roll at this Super Series Premier after a long gap. She has not dropped a single game in the four matches she has played in this year’s edition.