Ajay Jayaram Loses to Chen Long in Korea Open Final
Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram’s rampaging run was brought to a halt by defending champion and World No. 1 Chen Long of China in the final of the Korea Open Super Series event here on an hour ago in Seoul, Korea. Jayaram failed to breach the Chinese wall as his fight ended with a 14-21 13-21 loss to the current world champion Long in a 40-minute men’s singles final.
Jayaram started with a smash but stumbled on a series of errors to lose points. Long was equally erratic in the beginning as both led 4-4 early on in the opening game. Long, however, quickly regrouped and started dominating proceedings as his smashes got sharper and he thrived on the Indian’s error to lead 9-5. Jayaram showed occasional sparks of brilliance and left Long completely stranded with a deceptive jump shot at 7-9 and with that clawed back at 9-9. However, Long produced two powerful smashes to go into the break with a two-point advantage. After a talk with chief coach Pullela Gopichand, during the break Jayaram came up with a cross court smash but hit long next. The Chinese jumped and smashed in every opportunity he got while Jayaram looked to accumulate point with some sharp deception.
In the second game also Jayaram played well initially but was not able to maintain his stamina and forceful shots, especially after the break at 11-6 to finally lose the game at 13-21. Thus Chen established his superiority in the game throughout and won the title.
En route to the summit showdown, Jayaram punched above his weight, stunning the likes of World No. 6 Dane Viktor Axelsen, Japan’s Sho Sasaki and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen to set up a title clash with Long, an opponent he had lost to at the Hong Kong Open last year. It is a credible performance for a player coming after 3 years and India can look forward to promising wins from Jayaram in the upcoming tournaments.
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