Jayaram storms into Korea Open final

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Jayaram storms into Korea Open final

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SportsCafe Desk


Unseeded Indian Ajay Jayaram cruised into his maiden Superseries final at the Korea Open in Seoul after dismantling world number seven Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-19, 21-15 in just 44 minutes.

Jayaram will meet defending champion and world number one Chen Long of China for the title. The Bengaluru-based shuttler will turn 28 on Sunday, and it would indeed be memorable for him if he caps a dream run with the crown.

World champion Chen kept his date for a fourth Superseries title this season with a 21-9, 21-13 victory over Japanese Kento Momota.

Jayaram, ranked 32 in the world, has been on a giant-killing spree in this tournament, knocking out Viktor Axelsen in the first round and Japanese southpaw Sho Sasaki in the quarterfinals.

“I think it is a matter of confidence, it’s a culmination of all the hard work I’ve put in over the years,” Jayaram told a news conference. “I executed my strategy well. Recovering from the injury obviously made me tougher,” added Jayaram, who was sidelined for six months last year owing to a shoulder injury.

Jayaram displayed skill and tenacity as he carefully kept a tight rein on the shuttle, opening up for confident shots that found the lines.

Jayaram took the lead early in the opening game but Chou leveled at 11, and the two tied again at 16 before the Indian nosed ahead.

Chou briefly led in the second game after the pair leveled at 12, but Jayaram outplayed his opponent time and again after drawing him into a net game. Not given the room to unleash his smashes, seventh-seeded Chou caved in.

 “It will be hard against Chen Long…,” said Jayaram when asked about the final. “I will think about what to do, maybe have a word with (compatriot) Kashyap as well, since he has beaten him twice,” added Jayaram.

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