The two-time bronze medallist beat the junior world champion 21-13 21-10 to enter the final.
Continuing her good run, India's P.V. Sindhu won her quarter-finals match to advance while Kidambi Srikanth lost his men's singles encounter and bowed out of the World Badminton Championships here on Friday. However, Nehwal kept the Rio Olympics bronze medalist on her toes as Okuhara failed to understand Saina's game play to hand the Indian an 8-2 lead in no time.
Sindhu, 22, and Okuhara, 22, have won three games apiece from six outings between them and in the Japanese, the Hyderabadi faces an opponent that likes to play fast-paced shuttle.
The second game saw Okuhara returning the compliment, drawing Saina into long rallies. Aggressive Sindhu Sindhu dished out an aggressive game and never looked in doubt as she led from start to finish during the 39-minute lop-sided match. I could feel my legs getting to things I maybe wouldn't have before and using skills I didn't have to be able to use before, so I can definitely feel lots of little changes in my game. Okuhara didn't allow Saina to take the lead and won the match. After the match, Okuhara said that the match was tough in the final and Sindhu fought hard.
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Jolted by the first game reversal, Sindhu opened up a 4-0 lead but Cheung drew parity at 9-9 before grabbing an 11-10 advantage at the interval. Sindhu and Okuhara were evenly matched and played their heart out in the middle. With this she has assured at least a Silver medal for India. A brilliant inside-out smash gave Saina two back-to-back points for the first time since the opening rallies of this game, but the Japanese scored two more points to take the game to 13-7.
Both players showed signs of fatigue in the third, but as exhausted they were, neither would concede.
Sindhu took an early 5-1 lead in the second.
Then, Okuhara claimed three consecutive points as she showed more energy and agility as a exhausted Saina failed to stop her from dictating the rallies.