Ajay Jayaram’s impressive run ends at Barcelona Spain Masters semis

The Indian shuttler fought valiantly in the first game but couldn’t prevent a straight games loss at the hands of Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

By Andre Pitts

Ajay Jayaram’s solid performance in the Barcelona Spain Masters 2020 ended in the semi-final on Saturday after the world no. 68 lost 20-22, 12-21 to world no. 32 Kunlavut Vitidsarn at the Vall d'Hebron Olympic Sports Centre on Saturday.

The Indian badminton player did make a competitive start though as neither shuttler allowed the other to get too far ahead in the opening game. Ajay Jayaram led 11-10 at one stage but Kunlavut Vitidsarn seized the initiative after the break.

The Thai shuttler was ahead 17-14 before Jayaram fought back by winning five consecutive points. However, despite the fight, the Indian badminton player was unable to win the first game, eventually succumbing 20-22.

Vitidsarn grew in confidence after the first game and had a 11-7 lead at the break in the second. He went from strength to strength after the break and took the second game 21-12 to book his berth in the final, where he will take on top seed Viktor Axelsen on Sunday.

Ajay Jayaram was the only Indian to make it to the semi-finals of Barcelona Spain Masters 2020

Ajay Jayaram upstages Saina, Srikanth in Spain

It would have taken a brave man to bet on Ajay Jayaram being the last surviving Indian badminton player in the Barcelona Spain Masters 2020 draw over the likes of Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth to name a few but that’s exactly how it panned out.

Ajay Jayaram’s surprise run to the last four in the men’s singles category featured some shock victories, including a round of 16 – and his first-ever – win over Kidambi Srikanth.

He had previously gotten the better of Christo Popov and was impressive in his quarter-final clash against Thomas Rouxel as well, beating the Frenchman 21-14, 21-15 in convincing fashion to qualify for the semi.


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