Shuttler Ajay Jayaram shocks world No 7 to reach Korea Open final
Seoul: Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram on Saturday continued his rampaging run at the Korea Open notching up a sensational straight-game upset victory over world No 7 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei to storm into the finals of the USD 600,000 Super Series event in Seoul.
Ajay Jayaram of India hits a return against Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan during their men's singles semi-final match at the Korea Open Superseries badminton tournament in Seoul. Pic/AFP
Long forgotten in the Indian badminton corridors, the 27-year-old Bangalore-based player today sent ripples in world badminton after prevailing over seventh seed Chen 21-19 21-15 in a 43-minute men's singles semifinal match. Beaten twice this season to the same opponent at German Open and US Open, world No 32 Jayaram carried those scars as an armour into the match as he dominated the proceedings to eventually set up a summit clash with World No. 1 Chen Long of China.
Jayaram possibly remembered his wins against Chen in Thailand and Japan in 2011 and 2013 when he took to the court as he opened up a 11-8 lead at one stage. The Taiwanese player turned the tables with a seven-point burst but the Indian was determined enough to stave off the challenge and soon pockted the game to lead 1-0.
Brimming in confidence, Jayaram produced a more dominating show in the second game as he surged to 3-0 early on and then moved into the interval with a 11-7 lead.
Chen once again clawed back at 12-12 and lead 15-14. However, Jayaram didn't allow him to come any closer as he reeled off six points to seal the match. Jayaram had reached the semi-finals of Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold, Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold and Russian Open Grand Prix this season.
Among Indians, Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal won the men's and women's singles titles at the India Super Series this year.