Ajay Jayaram, who was part of the Indian badminton team which won a bronze at the Asia Team Championships 2016, announced his retirement recently from the game. The 34-year-old, who won the Dutch Open twice, had a career spanning close to two decades and started playing at the age of seven.
He won the prestigious Dutch Open in 2014 and 2015, apart from the Czech International as well. But his biggest achievement has to be his final appearance at the Korea Open in 2015, where he beat the likes of Viktor Axelsen and Chou Tien-chen. In the final of the same event, he lost to Chinese Chen Long.
It was in 2017 that he reached his career-best ranking of world no. 13. “As all good things come to an end, so is my professional badminton journey of nearly two decades. I’ve decided to retire from competitive badminton and I write this, teary-eyed and with a lump in my throat,” Ajay Jayaram wrote on his social media post.
“While I am engulfed by all these overwhelming emotions, I would like to celebrate and be grateful for all that badminton and sport, in general, have given me. Badminton has defined most of what I am today. It has shaped me, taught me, grounded me and shown me what dreaming big can do,” Jayaram added.
He also went on to write that he will take time to chalk out a plan for the future. “While I certainly do feel this big void, the silver lining is that I will be jumping into something new and exciting, but more on that tomorrow. For now, I’m going to try and let this sink in,” he said.
He last played at the India Open 2022, where he lost to Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in the round of 32.