Sayaka Takahashi will be facing compatriot Akane Yamaguchi in the final of the French Open today after she defeated Olympic bronze medalist Pusarla V Sindhu in the semi-final yesterday.
Sayaka Takahashi: “It was a challenge to face Sindhu as she is powerful and quick so it was hard to keep up with her pace at first, but then I was able to get some good points.
“Tomorrow I will feel like a challenger and I will play without holding anything back. I do feel a bit stressed. I’m happy to be in the final but I want to focus on winning. So I will think of what it takes to win the match before I think of what it means to be in the final.”
The last time Takahashi won a major title was back in 2018 when she won the Singapore Open Super 500 tournament.
It has been a bumpy ride for the left-hander the last couple of years and thoughts of retirement even crossed her mind, but she is glad she stuck to the game.
“Last year I had a back injury and I thought of quitting the sport. I was struggling for a while. But then I tried to be positive. It took around four months to recover, but I was only 90 per cent fit when I arrived for the Sudirman Cup,” she told BWF.
“Of course I’m happy that I’m now in the final, but I have a match left and I have to prepare for that and play my way.”