US Open Badminton 2018: Ajay Jayaram continues his good run, enters semi-finals
Former India No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Ajay Jayaram entered the semi-finals of the 2018 Yonex US Open in Fullerton, California in the USA on Friday, continuing his impressive run at this BWF World Tour Super 300 tournament. Jayaram needed just 30 minutes to prevail over World No. 70 Heo Kwang Hee of South Korea in the quarter-finals.
The challenge gets tougher for the Indian in the next round as the former World No. 13 will be up against the sixth seed and World No. 30 Mark Caljouw.
This is the first time that the Mumbai shuttler has won three matches in a row at any tournament since the Malaysia Masters in January, 2017. In the hamstring injury-plagued 2017 season, he failed to play after the World Championships.
Not only that, the injury kept him out for a few weeks even this year and he only made a full-fledged comeback at the China Masters in April. This is Jayaram’s fourth tournament since his return.
The two-time Dutch Open winner has been the only one to carry Indian hopes in this event following the withdrawal of a host of his compatriots. Most of the top shuttlers chose to opt out of this tournament in favour of training for the upcoming Malaysia Open and the Indonesia Open.
Last year, HS Prannoy won an all-Indian final over Parupalli Kashyap in three gruelling games.
Indian challenge ends in Madrid
At the Spanish International in Madrid, the Indian campaign came to a premature end. Both Vaidevi Choudhari and Mugdha Agrey succumbed to second round defeats.
Choudhari barely survived a thrilling first round duel with fellow Indian Prashi Joshi 21-12, 18-21, 22-20. She was involved in yet another three-game match in the second round, but this time she went down to the sixth seed Gayle Mahulette 16-21, 21-13, 17-21.
In men’s singles, both Sahil Sipani and Kartikey fell in the first round.