Ajay Jayaram stuns third seed Sai Praneeth

Mumbai boy Ajay Jayaram shocked World No 40 and third seed B Sai Praneeth 21-19, 21-15 to enter the men's singles semi-final of the of Tata Open India International Challenge at the Cricket Club of India's badminton courts yesterday.

Ajay Jayaram
Ajay Jayaram during the Tata Open India International Challenge at CCI yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble.

The World No 72 and sixth seed stunned Praneeth in just 37 minutes with some brilliant crosscourt smashes and fine net play.

“I am playing the Tata Open for the first time since it became an International Challenge. Playing at home has always been special, but there aren’t many tournaments so I don’t get to play much. Early this year I had a shoulder injury and had a seven-month lay-off. Coming back wasn’t easy, but winning the Dutch Open (in October) gave me a boost. I hope I am able to start the New Year on a positive note,” said the 27-year-old.

Meanwhile, Akshit Mahajan stunned second seed Sourabh Varma 21-17, 13-21, 21-19. In the women’s doubles, the pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant shocked top seed pair of Pradnya Gadre and N Siki Reddy 21-16, 24-22.

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