So much so that she failed to keep the momentum she had in the first game failed to advance to her second final of World Badminton Championships. I shouldn't have gone to Rio, I didn't know I had a major injury. "It was good to get it done quicker today and I expect to perform fully to my 100 percent tomorrow".
Later in the day, 2016 Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu and 2012 London games bronze medallist Sania Nehwal will take on their respective opponents. While Sindhu was in the groove on Friday, the same can not be said about Srikanth, who went down 21-14, 21-18 in 48 minutes against Son Wan Ho to make a surprise exit.
"I hope for the gold".
All of India was waiting to tell Nozomi Okuhara from the land of Sony - "It's a Saina".
"I also feel Sindhu did not play as well as she did in the semis but again, full credit to the Japanese girl for the way she played in crunch time", he said. A pumped up Saina returned everything thrown at her and came up with the flawless clears to close out the rallies. In the first game there were two rallies - one of 29 shots and the other of 32 - both of which Saina won. Okuhara lost a video referral next as Saina led 18-10. After being a game down and trailing 5-16 in the second, Srikanth mounted an impressive comeback and narrowed the lead down to two points at 17-19. I could feel my legs getting to things I maybe wouldn't have before and using skills I didn't have to be able to use before, so I can definitely feel lots of little changes in my game.
They moved neck and neck till 17-17 before the Indian grabbed a 19-17 lead when Okuhara hit wide. The plan was to play an aggressive game, not allowing Okuhara to settle down.
Nozomi showed incredible ability to retrieve and kept coming back as Sindhu tried maintaining a slender lead with both displaying badminton of the highest class, tiring themselves out.
Saina gave it her all, but Okuhara's never-say-die attitude helped her outmanoeuvre the Indian in an energy-sapping clash. Their last meeting came earlier this year in Singapore, where the Indian won in three games. The world number 12 is also a nine-match winning streak, which includes the winning run at Australian Open in June. It resulted in five straight points and the Japanese took a 6-3 lead.
Another long rally and a lovely cross-court drop shot at the net gave Sindhu the match point and the Indian sealed the game immediately after when Chen sent the shuttle long. She needs to go back to the drawing board with coach Vimal Kumar or perhaps even with a new set of coaching assistants who can work on a different wrist bend and arm angle to introduce a new flourish to her net play and smashes.
Gilmour led 14-8 and 18-16 in the first game, but then lost four points in a row in a decisive burst from Nehwal.