After playing her way into a an assured medal at the World Badminton Championship, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on 14 August, described her quarterfinal win as "special" and said patience was the key to her success.
"I am very lucky. It was like a final. It was very special," said Saina after ekeing out a thrilling 21-15 19-21 21-19 win over 2011 edition gold medallist and former World No. 1 Wang Yihan in an hour and 12 minutes gruelling battle.
"At the highest level, the difference is very little.
Everyone is good in the top 10. The margin of error is very little as you can see it was 21-19. Luck played a big role and today for me, it was lot of patience and little bit of luck here and there," she said.
"It is a first in many ways. So I will want to thank my coaches, my families, parents and my hard work. It is a god gift for me," she added.
Saina said she had a tough draw as she was playing two quality players -- Sayaka Takahashi and Wang Yihan -- in two days at the
"The only thing that I was thinking last two days is that Wang Yihan and me have been playing so many matches and the record is 2-9 and she also won the Chinese Taipei Open, so I was thinking my quarter was really tough as I also had to play Sayaka Takahashi in the second round. She is also a good attacking player and then Wang Yihan, so both the matches were tough for me," she said.
With this win, the World No. 2 finally broke her jinx of finishing at the quarterfinals in last five outings.
Talking about the match, Saina said, "It was a tough match. At 13-9, she was getting back in rhythm and she was picking up all my shots and the rallies were really fast paced rallies.
"In the third game, she was always leading by two points.
So I was thinking that I will have to play strokes which are safe and also keep the rallies going. She wanted to play faster and I didn't want to do that and luckily the last few points I played with lot of patience and I think it showed in the results."
The 25-year-old will next take on Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia, whom she had beaten twice in the past. However, Saina said it will be a fresh match and her Indonesian opponent is also in good form.
"Linda is very strong, she is coming out very strong. She beat Ratchanok Inthanon, Tai Tzu Ying, so it will be tough. It will be a fresh match, I played two years back it will be a different match. So you never know."
"I didn't think about the finals. I mean, the semifinals in itself is a surprising moment for me. In my mind it was I have to play my best and give my best and actually right now I am still thinking about the match. It will be definitely a different match for me," she said.