Ajay Jayaram created history be becoming the first Indian to win badminton Grand Prix tournament under the new 11×5 scoring system when he won the 2014 Dutch Open at Almere in Netherlands on Sunday. 

In an exciting finals, 13th seed Ajay stopped the giant strides of unseeded Indonesian Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 10-11, 11-6, 11-7, 1-11, 11-9 in 46 minutes. After losing the opening game narrowly, Ajay bounced back strongly to capture the next two games to take a handy 2-1 lead in the five-game final. The fourth game was a disaster for Ajay but the experienced Indian used all his skills to clinch the decider 11-9 to bag his fourth international title. 

Ajay had a fantastic run in this tournament as defeated third seed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia in the quarterfinals and top seed Rajiv Ouseph of England in the semis. Ajay was obviously ecstatic after the win. The victory will be more sweeter for the shuttler who is on a comeback trail after a shoulder injury that kept him out of action since February. 

“I am thrilled with this muchneeded win. It was a tough match. My Indonesian opponent had caused some big upsets on way to reaching the final. He was moving well on the courts today. I had seen his semifinal match and chalked out some plans to counter him. I am glad I could overcome him and bag the title,” said Ajay before leaving for Amsterdam. 

Ajay was ranked 21 in the world earlier this year before he slipped in rankings because of the shoulder injury. He is now 66. After out of action for nearly seven months, he made his comeback by representing India at the World Championship held in Denmark in August and later on played in the Indonesia Open. Ajay had earlier won three overseas titles – New Zealand Open (2009), Thailand Open (2010) and Czech Open (2013).


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