Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram is through to the semi-finals of the US Open Super 300 tournament after recording a straight-game victory over South Korea’s Heo Kwang Hee in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Ajay, who was ranked as high as 13th in the world in September last year before plummeting to his current placement of 134 because of a hamstring injury, was stretched in the opening two rounds by world No 368 Yun Kyu Lee and world No 31 Ygor Coelho but was then hardly troubled by the 70th-ranked Heo.
After exchanging the first few points, Ajay won six points in a row to take a 10-4 lead in the first game, only for Heo to bag the next five to close the gap to 10-9. Ajay then again opened up the gap to make it 14-9 before closing out the game 21-18.
The second game was a lot tighter to begin as Hee took a slender 9-8 lead before Ajay broke free, winning five points in a row. Heo could never recover from there as Ajay closed out the game 21-12 and sealed the match. The 30-year-old Indian will take on sixth seed Mark Caljouw of Netherlands, who is ranked 30th in the world, in the semi-finals.
In the other men’s singles semi-final, fourth seed Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand will take on the unseeded Lee Dong Keun, who had defeated two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan in the first round.
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