Saina Nehwal has been India's flag-bearer in the badminton circuit for a long time and the ongoing 2015 World Badminton Championship has been no different. Saina Nehwal is the lone Indian survivor in the competition as she will face Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanetri in the semi-final on Saturday.
Saina Nehwal's road to the semi-final has been impressive as she has defeated top players such as Sayaka Takahashi in the pre-quarter final and Wang Yihan in the quarter to book a slot in the last four and assure herself of a medal, which had always eluded her. Prior to the 2015 edition, Saina Nehwal's best finish was a quarter-final finish a number of times.
The Indian shuttler will be eager to go all the way and clinch her first world championship for which she needs to defeat two more opponents – one each in the semi-final and final – but it is not going to be an easy one with top-class shuttlers remaining in the competition.
Even if she defeats Fanetri in the semi-finals, she will meet either Carolina Marin or Sung Ji Hyun, who are both highly-rated shuttlers, in the finals of the world badminton championship.
Though one might not put Lindaweni Fanetri in the bracket of Wang Yihan, Li Xuerui, Sania Nehwal and Carolina Marin, she has been one of the best players in the competition with some huge victories.
In fact, one look at her route to the finals reflect how she came out triumphant against some top seeded players, which includes fourth seed Tai Tzu Ying, thirteenth seed Minatsu Mitani and her fellow countrywomen, fifth seed Ratchanok Itanon, who had to leave the court midway during her match due to an injury.
So, when Fanteri faces Saina in the semi-final of the competition, the Indonesian will not be short of confidence after having played some quality badminton in Jakarta to oust these seeded players.
However, Saina after showing some class in her previous match against Yihan, will be eager to continue with the same form and brush off Lindaweni Fanetri to reach her first world championship finals as well.
Saina not only has to contend with Fanetri but also a large group of home supporters, who are going to support the Indonesian players to the hilt. But, Saina Nehwal has plenty of quality in her to silence the crowd in Indonesia and please her fans back at home in India.
Where to Watch Live
The 2015 World Badminton Championship semi finals is scheduled for 11am local time (9:30am IST) and Star Sports 4/HD will offer live coverage for viewers in India with live streaming on starsports.com.
Saina Nehwal vs Lindaweni Fanetri Semi-Final Live coverage is scheduled for approximately 3pm local time (1:30pm IST). The timing of the match could go beyond 3pm local time as well, depending on earlier matches.
Viewers around the world can follow the game online on Badminton World TV.
Live scorecard of all the 2015 World Badminton Championship matches can be followed here.