Qingdao (China), April 17: India’s top men’s shuttler Ajay Jayaram notched up a straight-set victory at the Asian Badminton Championships here Tuesday on a day best forgotten when three Indians — Parupalli Kashyap, H.S. Prannoy and Sameer Verma — were knocked out in the first round.
Jayaram, seeded 15th, took just 53 minutes to overcome his Chinese Taipei opponent Jen Hao Hsu 21-19, 21-19.
It was not all plain sailing for the Indian. The first game was neck and neck till the first five points but Hsu took a three point lead. Jayaram then came back strongly winning seven points in a row to take the score to 12-8.
It was Hsu’s turn to make a comeback in the match as he won five consecutive points. But after that the Indian took the control of the game.
The second game was not so close as the scores suggested. Jayaram had a narrow lead over his opponent for the entire game and only came under pressure when the score was tied 16-16. The Indian won three consecutive points to get some breathing space and finished the game soon after.
Kashyap, however could not replicate his compatriot as he was dispatched easily by a much higher ranked Chinese opponent. World No.3 Chen Long took just 40 minutes to beat the Indian 21-9, 21-13.
Prannoy went down 6-21, 20-22 to World No.10 Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam while Sameer Verma had a tough time against fourth seeded Indonesian Simon Santoso, losing 19-21, 14-21.