Ajay Jayaram’s silver proved to be the standout achievement for India at the BWF Korea Open Badminton Tournament.
Big names like Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa decided to skip the tournament, which in turn piled up the pressure on players like P Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth.
Sikki Reddy and Tarun Kona marked a forgettable start for India in the tournament when they were knocked out in the first game. They faced top seeds Nan Zhang and Yunlei Zhao in the match and lost out 21-11, 21-10.
In the absence of Saina, PV Sindhu was India’s biggest hope in the Women’s singles category. Sindhu started off brightly and defeated third seed Ratchanok Intanon in the first round. She, however, fell against Sayaka Takahashi of Japan with a score of 16-21, 13-21.
Surprise exit for Kashyap and Srikanth in Korea Open
Kashyap and Srikanth, two players who came into the tournament as favorites suffered early exits. Kashyap lost to Hong Kong’s Wei Nan for a scoreline of 21-17, 16-21 and 18-21 when Srikanth lost to Tian Houwei 12-21, 21-13 and 21-17. HS Prannoy also went down fighting against Chou Tien Chen.
On the other side, Ajay Jayaram stole the show with his excellent performance. His most impressive win came against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark for a scoreline of 21-15, 21-15. Jayaram then defeated Vincent Wong in the next round to book his place in the quarterfinal of the tournament.
A straight set win over Chou Tien Chen in the Semi-finals of the tournament booked Ajay’s berth in the final. Ajay, however, couldn’t reach the ultimate goal as he was defeated by Long Chen in the final.
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