US Open Badminton | Ajay Jayaram moves into quarter-final with second successive win

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US Open Badminton | Ajay Jayaram moves into quarter-final with second successive win

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SportsCafe Desk


India’s Ajay Jayaram won his second successive three-game match against Brazil’s Ygor Coelho and advanced to the quarter-finals of the US Open Super 300 badminton tournament. Jayaram defeated the world no. 31 in an intense match, which finished 19-21, 21-12, 21-16 in the second round on Thursday.

Ajay Jayaram, who was ranked as high as 13th in the world in September last year before dropping to his current ranking of 132 because of a hamstring injury, was given a tough fight by world No 368 Yun Kyu Lee in the first round on Wednesday. In the first round match that went on nearly for an hour, he overcame Lee 26-24, 17-21, 21-13 and moved to the second round of the tournament.

In the second round, Jayaram had to face Ygor Coelho in a match which was relatively more straightforward. The first game was a tight one as both players went neck-to-neck before the Brazilian got the two-point lead at the end to win it 21-19. However, the grueling first game seemed to have taken a toll on the world No 31 who succumbed to a 12-21 loss in the second game.

The decider game was expectantly a close affair as the scores were level at 14-14. From there, Ajay won four points in a row to make it 18-14 that eventually proved to be the decider. The 30-year-old won the game 21-16 to seal the match and a spot in the quarter-finals, where he would take on world No 70 Heo Kwang Hee of South Korea. 

In the women’s singles, the returning Li Xuerui defeated world No 13 and second seed Sayaka Sato 22-20, 21-9 to reach the quarter-finals. Li’s first tournament on her return was the China Masters in April, which she went on to win. The 27-year-old then represented her country at the Uber Cup, where China lost in the semi-finals. The US Open is only her third tournament since returning to the circuit and she would next take on seventh seed Kim Hyo Min in the quarter-finals.

In men’s single on Wednesday, shockingly, top seed and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan retired in the first round itself. He was playing against the world No 38 Lee Dong Keun, who took the opening game 21-13. Lin Dan was trailing 12-19 in the second game when he decided to retire.

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