Korea Open: Ajay Jayaram reaches quarter-finals, Sai Praneeth knocked out
Seoul: Ajay Jayaram emerged as the lone survivor at the Korea Open after notching up a convincing straight-game win over China's Huang Yuxiang to advance to the quarter-finals of men's singles of the Super Series event on Thursday.
World No 27 Indian, seeded ninth, defeated Huang 21-15 21-18 in a 40-minute battle. He had beaten him at the Canada Open last year.
Jayaram thus set up a clash with Korean Lee Hyun Il on Friday.
B Sai Praneeth however suffered a 9-21 15-21 loss to sixth seed Korean Son Wan Ho in a 34-minute match.
Jayaram and Huang got engaged in a fierce battle till 7-7. But the Indian soon broke off with five straight points to create a gulf which the Chinese could not breach and Jayaram pocketed the opening game.
In the second game, Jayaram dished out a dominating display to manage a 13-7 lead at one stage before the Chinese shuttler came back to narrow it down to 12-14. But Jayaram could hung on the slight edge and managed to stave off the challenge.
"I was winning comfortably. But got a bit close in the second. Quite happy with the way I played today. Was moving well and did well to mix my attack. A slightly nervous finish but delighted to pull through in the end and make it through to the quarters," Jayaram said.
"Up against Lee Hyun Il tomorrow. A difficult opponent to play against, but I'm feeling good and looking to keep up the momentum," he added.
The 37-year-old Dubliner, who remains available for Test and T20 cricket, won 153 caps in the 50-over format, scoring over 3,000 runs and taking a national record 114 wickets in the format with his lively medium pace.
After being forced to shut out fans last year due to Covid-19, the tournament will begin selling tickets for the 30 August - 12 September showdown at Flushing Meadows to the public on 15 July.
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