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Korea Open: Jayaram stuns Sasaki to enter semis

Last updated on: September 18, 2015 16:43 IST
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Ajay Jayaram

India’s Ajay Jayaram reacts. Photograph: Facebook

Ajay Jayaram shocked higher-ranked Japanese Sho Sasaki to reach the men's singles semi-finals at the Korea Open Super Series badminton tournament, in Seoul, on Friday.

The Indian shuttler, who had a 1-2 head-to-head record going into the match, won 21-19, 16-21, 21-16 in 65 minutes.

The world No 32 Indian will next take on the winner of the match between China's Tian Houwei and Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen, seeded seventh.

The Dutch Open winner showed tremendous grit, fighting back from 3-11 down in the first game with an eight-point burst. Even though Sasaki, ranked No 26, regained the lead till 19-17, Jayaram sealed the opening game by reeling off four straight points.

In the second game, the Indian surged ahead 6-1 but this time it was Sasaki who drew abreast with five straight points and then broke away at 10-10 to eventually take the game and roar back into the contest.

The decider was hard-fought and the Japanese held a 9-6 lead at one stage before Jayaram drew level at 12 and proceeded to wrap the match.

"It was another hard fought win today. I didn't start great today. A string of errors gave him an early 11-3 lead. I did well to change the pace and slow down the game after that to get back and eventually clinch the first set at 19,” said Jayaram after the match.

"Even though I took an early 6-1 lead in the second set I couldn't maintain the discipline. He played well at the net and prevented me from taking control.

"In the final set, however, I did well to mix my attack and opened out the game much better. Definitely happy to have pulled through today. I'm looking forward to another hard match tomorrow," he added.

Jayaram had reached the semi-finals of the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold, Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold and Russian Open Grand Prix this season.

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