Indian badminton roundup: Ajay Jayaram shocks eighth seed to enter quarter-finals of US Open, Prashi Joshi qualifies for Spanish International
Former India No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Ajay Jayaram’s comeback from injury gathered momentum when he upset the eighth seed and World No. 31 Ygor Coelho of Brazil to enter the quarter-finals of the 2018 Yonex US Open in Fullerton, California in the USA on Thursday. Jayaram came back from a game down to edge Coelho 19-21, 21-12, 21-16 in 50 minutes in this second round clash.
The former World No. 13 will next take on the 70th ranked Heo Kwang Hee of Hong Kong for a place in the semi-finals of this Super 300 tournament.
This is the first time that Jayaram has won two consecutive rounds at any BWF event since the World Championships in August. His journey back from a stubborn hamstring injury, that he suffered last year, has been long and arduous.
He missed seven consecutive events following the World Championships in a bid to recover completely from the injury. However, it took more time than usual and kept him out of action for some time this season as well.
Jayaram, whose ranking has now plummeted to a lowly 134th, made a full-fledged comeback at the China Masters in April.
None of India’s top players, apart from Jayaram, has participated at this tournament. With a hectic stretch of the season ahead, that includes the Malaysia Open, the Indonesia Open, the World Championships, and the Asian Games, the star shuttlers are busy in training.
India had a memorable outing at this tournament last year with HS Prannoy winning the title and Parupalli Kashyap finishing as the runner-up.
Prashi Joshi shows good form in Madrid
At the Spanish International Villa de Madrid 2018, an International Challenge tournament in Madrid, Spain, rising Indian star Prashi Joshi won two rounds of qualifying to secure a main draw berth. The 17-year-old, seeded fourth in qualifying, came back from a game down to edge Spain’s Claudia Leal 20-22, 21-13, 21-12.
She then followed it up with a comfortable 21-13, 21-10 win over Portugal’s Ariana F Goncalves to set up an all-Indian first round clash with Vaidehi Choudhari.