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Vietnam Open 2018: Ajay Jayaram upsets top seed, Rituparna Das knocks out sixth seed

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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449   //    10 Aug 2018, 16:40 IST

YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships - Day Two- 2017
Ajay Jayaram

Former India No. 1 men’s singles shuttler, Ajay Jayaram put up a dazzling performance to upset the top seed on his way to the quarter-finals of the Yonex-Sunrise Vietnam Open 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Thursday. Jayaram needed just 34 minutes to show the door to the World No. 38 Ygor Coelho of Brazil 22-20, 21-14.

Next up for the former World No. 13 shuttler is the 146th ranked Xiaodong Sheng of Canada as he seeks a semi-final berth.

This is the third time in four tournaments that Jayaram has reached the quarter-finals of a tournament on the BWF circuit. The Mumbai ace is trying to make his comeback from a hamstring injury, which cost him quite a few months.

Having joined the tour again full-fledged in May, he made it to the semi-finals of the US Open -- a Super 300 tournament. The 30-year-old followed it up with a run to the final of the White Nights International Challenge right after that.

It was only at the Russian Open that he suffered a pre-quarter-final defeat as he went down to compatriot, Subhankar Dey in three games in the second round.

Other than Jayaram, Mithun Manjunath was the second Indian to enter the quarter-finals in the men’s singles draw of the Vietnam Open. The World No. 112 fought valiantly to edge the 110th ranked Adulrach Namkul 18-21, 21-13, 21-19 in a 56 minute battle. The Indian next takes on World No. 114 Zhou Zeqi for a place in the semi-finals.

Former Indian national women’s singles champion Rituparna Das too showed brilliant form to knock out the sixth seed and World No. 55 Sung Shuo Yun 21-8, 21-14 in just 26 minutes. For the resurgent Das, whose ranking has now slipped to 134th after a series of injuries, World No. 88 Phittayaporn Chaiwan waits in the next round.

Karan Jindal was the only Indian to bow out on Thursday, losing 10-21, 22-24 to Xiaodong Sheng.


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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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