Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has expressed her jubilation after she defeated world number one Carolina Marin at the BWF World Superseries Finals in Dubai on Thursday.
Nehwal, who had been unable to train for three weeks due to an Achilles injury, was beaten 14-21, 6-21 by Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in her opening match on Wednesday, but she bounced back to stun the reigning BWF world champion with a 23-21, 9-21, 21-12 victory.
During her 65-minute showdown with Marin, Nehwal was forced to save a game point in the first game and recover from being dominated in the second game to beat the Spaniard, who had triumphed over her in the final of the World Championships in Jakarta in August.
"My god, I didn't expect this," Nehwal told reporters. "I never thought I would win, and I had no plan. And I really never expected to play so well against Carolina. I didn't do any kind of running before coming here, and I thought I would be playing with my dog at home this weekend."
Nehwal’s next match will be against the winless Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei on Friday and should she beat the reigning World Superseries Finals champion, she has a chance of advancing to the semi-finals on Saturday.