Ajay Jayaram continued his good run at the Korea Open as he reached the quarterfinal of the event with a straight-sets win in the second round today. However, the other Indian in the fray, B Sai Praneeth, lost to sixth seed Wan Ho Son to leave Jayaram as the lone Indian in the event.
India had had a disastrous opening round yesterday as four of the six Indians including Kidambi Srikanth had faced defeats. The second day threatened to be so as B Sai Praneeth lost in straight sets to sixth seed Wan Ho Son of South Korea. Praneeth kept up with the Korean in the opening set until 9-6, but Son showed his superiority with extended rallies that took him to a 21-9 win in the first set.
In the second set, the story was similar as Sai Praneeth kept up until 10-7, before Son pulled ahead to win the set 21-15 and enter the quarterfinal.
That left Ajay Jayaram, who had his birthday yesterday, as the last Indian at the event. The Mumbai lad however, continued his good run as he downed Yuxiang Huang of China. The two were lockstep until 7-7 in the first set but Jayaram went on a five-point rally that put him on top of the set. Although Huang caught up at 14-12, Jayaram held his play to win the set 21-15.
In the second set, Jayaram's once again took an early lead at 9-3. That kept him in good steed as he thwarted repeated attempts from Huang to reach match point at 20-16. Huang gave him a brief scare reaching 20-19, but the Indian won on his fourth match point to enter the quarterfinal of the event. He will now face higher-ranked Korean Hyun Lee tomorrow for a spot in the semis.
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