Ajay Jayaram breezes into second round at SaarLorLux Open badminton

The Indian badminton player had few problems in a straight-games win over Belgian Maxime Moreels.

By Rahul Venkat

India’s Ajay Jayaram won his men’s singles first-round tie at the Super 100 SaarLorLux Open in Saarbrucken, Germany on Tuesday.

Jayaram beat Belgium’s Maxime Moreels 21-8, 21-8 in a match that lasted just 19 minutes.

The Indian badminton player took advantage of some unforced errors in the opening game to race to a 6-0 lead before Moreels hit back with a down-the-line winner to earn his first point of the match.

In a game that hardly saw any smashes, Jayaram maintained a steady base in the middle of the court and dictated play to go into the break with a healthy 11-4 lead.

Moreels, a former Belgian doubles national champion, tried to push the Indian badminton ace to the baseline but could not find the momentum to keep his shuttles inside.

Jayaram also got a few returns wrong to allow the Belgian to get to seven points. However, the Indian soon shrugged it off to give the run-around to Moreels and though Jayaram squandered a game point at 20-7, he won the opening game with a cross-court smash.

The Indian badminton player continued with the same strategy in the second game but Moreels competed better. The Belgian was successful in stretching Jayaram’s range, getting his drops and smashes right to almost draw level at 6-5.

However, Jayaram went on the offensive soon enough and won five consecutive points to go into the break in the second game at 11-5. The Indian kept expanding his lead thereafter and wrapped up the match when Moreels sent a return long past the baseline.

Ajay Jayaram will now face Dutch third seed Mark Caljouw in the second round.

Defending champion Lakshya Sen and 2018 winner Subhankar Dey were given byes in the first round while teenager Malvika Bansod will begin her women’s singles campaign against Estonian Kristin Kuuba on Wednesday.