Ajay Jayaram, World No 13 and the highest ranked Indian men’s shuttler, pulled off a stunning upset when he beat fifth seed and World No 7 Tian Houwei 21-18, 18-21, 21-19 in a marathon 70-minute encounter.
Jayaram took an unexpected lead when he edged the first game but Houwei showed his class and experience by reversing the scoreline in the next game to send the match into a decider. The Indian then held his nerve to clinch the third game, leaving the home crowd and local favourite Houwei stunned. The Indian will face Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao next in the round of 16.
PV Sindhu steamrolled Indonesia’s Dinar Dyah Ayustine in 31 minutes 21-8 21-18 to breeze through to the pre-quarterfinals. The World No 5 was in imperious form, only allowing her opponent eight points in a runaway first game.
Ayustine put up more of a fight in the second game but was unable to stretch the match to three games as Sindhu closed out the match in clinical fashion.
Japan’s World No 19, the unseeded Sayaka Sato knocked seventh seed Saina Nehwal out in a 68-minute rollercoaster. Despite taking the first game 21-19, Nehwal was unable to sustain the momentum as the Japanese won the next two games 21-16 and 21-18.
HS Prannoy also crashed out after losing 16-21, 21-13, 19-21 to world No 10 NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong in a keenly-contested game.