PV Sindhu created history as she became the first-ever Indian to reach the women's singles final at the Asian Games on Monday. She defeated World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi 21-17, 15-21, 21-10 in the semi-finals in a match that lasted 66 minutes.
Earlier in the day, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman to win an individual medal in badminton after her bronze medal win. She further became only the second Indian to medal in the individual event since Syed Modi in 1982.
Talking about her match, Sindhu told ESPN, "It was a good match. I just thought I've to give my best. Playing against the top players, you have to give your hardest effort at every match you play."
Sindhu will now face World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the gold medal match. "It's not going to be easy tomorrow, but I will give my best and play my heart out against Tai. She is doing well, but it all depends on who does well on that day. She's a very deceptive player and I need to be ready," she said.
Competing with Tai the semi-finals, Saina went down 17-21, 14-21 in a match lasting 36 minutes. "If I had worked harder, I could have given her a tougher fight," she told ESPN after the match.
"The draw was tough, I had to face the World No. 1 in the semi-finals, and when you're not ranked higher, you might have to face the best players in the earlier rounds. I'm happy that I gave her a tough fight today. We came here well-prepared," she added.
In the second game, the 28-year-old was tied at 14-14 against Tai at one point, soon after which the latter won without conceding a single point. "I was conceding errors and once she took a three point-lead, then it was tough to come back. She was on fire. She had lost in the World Championships (quarterfinals) to He Bingjiao, so she was trying to finish this match as quickly as possible," said Saina.
Expressing her happiness over being the first Indian to win an individual medal at the Games in 36 years, she said, "I'm blessed to have medals at all major tournaments. The Asian Games is a prestigious tournament."