Ajay Jayaram crashes out of US Open semis

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© Gettyimages

Ajay Jayaram crashes out of US Open semis

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Arun S Kaimal


Fourth seed Ajay Jayaram bowed out of the semi-final of the US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament at El Monte on Sunday, ending India’s hopes. The 28-year-old, who is ranked World No.22, lost to unseeded Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in straight games to exit the tournament.

Jayaram, who came into the semi-final match after an easy victory over fellow Indian Anand Pawar, found it hard against the unseeded Japanese shuttler and surrendered the match 10-21, 14-21. With Tsuneyama ranked No.61 in the world, Jayaram would have hoped for an easy match, but the intensity of the Japanese took the Indian by surprise.

It looked like a match of equals early on in the opening game with both players matching each other shot for shot. But, with the match at 8-7 in the Japanese’s favour, Tsuneyama won 10 points in a row to take the match away from the Indian. Jayaram, who had an easy run in the tournament till the semis, looked lost against the Japanese shuttler, who went for smash after smash. The Indian lost the game 10-21 and went into the second game hoping for a better display.

However, it proved to be repeat of the opening game. The tussle between the two continued till 14-14, and it looked like Jayaram was fighting for each and every point to get back into the match. But, from there on Tsuneyama won seven points in a row and finished off the game 21-14 to end the Indian’s hopes of a final place. 

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