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Saina Nehwal in World Juniors final

November 10, 2006 17:42 IST

Saina Nehwal thwarted a spirited challenge from Bae Youn Joo of Korea to reach the girls' singles final at the World Junior Badminton Championships in Incheon, South Korea, on Friday.

The world No 32-ranked Indian ace came up with a stunning performance to prevail over the Korean 25-23, 21-13 and is now one victory away from creating history.

Saina, seeded 14th, disposed of Bae in just 35 minutes to set up a title clash with top seed Wang Yihan of China on Saturday.

Yihan defeated Kim Moon of Korea 21-16, 21-13 in the other semi-final.

The Korean was a tough nut to crack, but the 16-year-old Saina was at her agressive best and played with purpose.

"It was a good fight. The first game was long and was tough, but I played with patience and won. In the second game I engaged her in long rallies and it paid of," Saina said from Incheon.

After getting a 1-0 lead, Saina grew in confidence and went all guns blazing in the second game. She broke away from 13-all and did not allow her opponent any scoring chance from there on.

"We were tied 13-all in the second game, but then she started netting too often and I played my shots," she said.

Expressing confidence with her current form, Saina said: "I am happy to reach the final and satisfied with the way I am playing. I have got some good wins in this tournament by defeating Indonesian, Malaysian, Chinese and Korean girls. I hope to carry the same form in the final also," she said.

Though Saina's opponent in the final Wang Yihan is ranked 103 in the world, she won her first international title – the IBF World Cup -- this year, beating world No 2 and fellow-Chienese Xie Xingfang.

"I have not played her before, but she is a good player and has defeated top players this year. It will be a tough match," the Indian ace said.

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