Ajay Jayaram suffers injury setback
What's the story?
Indian badminton star Ajay Jayaram suffered another heartbreaking end to a promising run in the recently-concluded Senior National Badminton Championships. Jayaram's knee, which has been giving him problems all year, gave way in a match against Lakshya Sen. This gave the junior world No. 3 who was leading the game 15-10 a walkover into the semifinals of the tournament.
It appears now that there might be more bad news on the horizon for Jayaram. His recent Twitter post stated that he will not be able to contest in the upcoming China Open, which is a Super Series Premier tournament, as well as the Super Series Hong Kong Open.
This will be a big blow to his chances of replicating the great run that saw him reach his career-best rank of No. 13 in the world. In the last year, he has had to withdraw from five consecutive international tournaments and has now dropped out of the top 20 rankings.
In case you didn't know...
Ajay Jayaram is unique in that he is one of the very few Indian players who do not train at the famed Gopichand Badminton Academy. In fact, the lone warrior does not even have a full-time coach of his own, something that is practically unheard of in the international scene. He has, however, been working closely with his mentor Tom John, the India-born British shuttler who trained Gopichand in the early 2000s.
Jayaram's career-best performance in the Super Series remains his appearance in the final of the 2015 Korea Open where he lost to China's Chen Long.
The two-time defending champion of the Dutch Open was the runner-up at the tournament in 2016, falling to Wang Tzu-wei in what was a closely-contested final.
The heart of the matter
The feisty badminton star also mentioned in his tweet that his next major event will be the Premier Badminton League that will take place in December. Jayaram plays for the Mumbai Rockets in the tournament.
In the 2017 edition of the PBL, the Mumbai Rockets fell to the Chennai Smashers in the final.
As India's recent dominance in badminton continues, Jayaram might find it tough to return to full strength against the likes of Kidambi Srikanth and H. S. Prannoy. But for now, his focus should remain solely on rehabilitation.
Ajay Jayaram's never-give-up attitude and his composure in the face of injury woes are commendable. Hopefully, he will be able to make a strong comeback at the PBL next month.