India’s Ajay Jayaram stood a step away from his first title of the season as he made it to the finals of the Vietnam Open after defeating Japan’s Yu Igarashi in straight games on Saturday. The 30-year-old Indian, who is making a comeback after recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered last year, saw off seventh seed Igarashi 21-14 21-19 in a 34-minute match. Also Read - Badminton | Saina Nehwal Questions Timing of Thomas And Uber Cup During COVID-19 Times, Asks 'Is it Safe Enough to Conduct The Tournament'
Jayaram, who had reached the finals at White Nights last month, will face Indonesia’s World No. 79 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the finals of the USD 75,000 BWF Tour Super 100 tournament. Also Read - Badminton: PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth to Lead India in Thomas & Uber Cup Final; BAI Cancels Preparatory Camp
Shesar, who had won four consecutive Indonesia International tournament, outwitted India’s Mithun Manjunath 21-17 19-21 21-14 in a match that lasted 59 minutes. Also Read - Badminton: India Handed Relatively Easy Draw in Thomas And Uber Cup Final
This is the third time in as many weeks that an Indian will be fighting for a title in a badminton event.
Last Sunday, Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu had settled for a silver medal after losing to Spain’s Carolina Marin in the summit clash at Nanjing, China.
A week before that, India’s Sourabh Verma had won the men’s singles title at Russia Open Tour Super 100 tournament.
Jayaram, a former World No. 13, was clinical in the opening game as he kept distancing himself from his rival after opening up a slender 3-1 lead at the start. He held an 11-8 advantage at the interval.
After the break, Jayaram jumped to a 15-8 lead by reeling off five straight points. Igarashi tried to make a comeback but the Indian continued to march ahead to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Igarashi opened up a 4-1 lead initially but Jayaram clawed his way back with three points. The duo went neck and neck after that before Jayaram held an 11-10 advantage at the breather.
After the break, Jayaram collected five points on the trot to jump to a 16-11 lead. The Japanese again recovered to 18-19 but the Indian shut the door on his opponent.
(With PTI Inputs)