Badminton ace PV Sindhu said she is hoping for a "better result" than last year's final in Sunday's much-anticipated World Championships 2018 gold medal match.
The 23-year-old has already assured herself a fourth world championships medal. After having won the bronze in 2013 and 2014 editions and a silver last year in Glasgow, she has a chance to win the gold medal that has been eluding her for quite some time now.
Sindhu will face Spain's Carolina Marin in a repeat of the Rio Olympic final, in which the Indian had finished second best. She isn't expecting an easy outing against her arch-rival in tomorrow's big final.
The world number three had gifted herself another shot at the world title after beating higher-ranked Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in straight games in the semi-final earlier today.
"It [the semi-final] was a good match overall. I hope this time it would be a better result then the last time. I have to prepare well for tomorrow, so its not yet over," Sindhu said, as quoted by The Press Trust of India.
"Tomorrow is going to be an aggressive match. Again we [Marin and I] know each other's game, so no easy matches, no easy points, just have to turn up and give my best tomorrow,"
Remarkable comeback against Yamaguchi
Sindhu showcased exceptional grit and determination during the semi-final against Yamaguchi, who had defeated her in a three-game semi-final at All England Championships earlier this year.
The third seed started slowly in both the games but fought her way back and didn't let the match go into a decider. With some exceptional court coverage and retrieving skills, Sindhu forced Yamaguchi into committing errors.
Yamaguchi was looking set to force a decider when she was two points away from sealing the second game at 19-12. However, Sindhu stepped up and stitched a run of eight straight points to make it 20-19.
A costly serving error from the Japanese shuttler helped the Hyderabad star close out the match.
"In the second game when I was down, I still had hope that till the last point it wasn't over for me, so I kept trying. I had to work hard to get each point," Sindhu added.
"I was prepared for long matches because both Yamaguchi and [Nozomi] Okuhara are very good players and can go on and on in the rallies."
Can Sindhu cross the final hurdle this time?
Having avenged her Glasgow defeat against Okuhara and beaten Yamaguchi with relative ease, Sindhu should be feeling confident about her chances on Sunday.
The young shuttler has to overcome a mental battle as well, considering the difficulties she has had in finishing on the top step of the podium over the last few years.
After losing the Rio Olympic final to Marin, Sindhu lost a marathon battle to Okuhara at the world meet last year. She was stunned by senior compatriot Saina Nehwal in last year's national championships as well Commonwealth Games gold medal matches.
Sindhu has had a superior record (3-1) against Marin since the defeat at Rio Games.
Staying in the present will be key as world championships glory beckons the shuttler, who seems to be taking Indian badminton to newer heights with every passing year.