Ajay Jayaram beats Axelsen; enters Malaysia Open quarters

It was sweet revenge for the Indian, who lost to the Dane in the first round of India Open Superseries.

Ajay Jayaram stunned the fourth seed to make the last eight of Malaysia Open on Thursday.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Ajay Jayaram stunned India Open champion Viktor Axelsen 9-21, 21-14, 21-19 to enter the quarterfinals of Malaysia Open Super Series on Thursday. It was sweet revenge for the Indian, who lost to the Dane in the first round of India Open Super Series just a few days back.

The fourth seeded Dane, at the Stadium Perpaduan, started strongly and dominated the Indian to pocket the first game 21-9. Ajay got his act together to take an early lead in the second game, jumping to 8-3.

He continued to lead until the Danish caught up with him at 11-11. But the Chennai lad managed to break at 12-12, reeling off six straight points to make it 18-12. He eventually sealed it 21-14 to take the match to the decider.

Despite starting well in the third game and having a slender lead till the break, Ajay conceded the advantage. What followed was a neck-and-neck battle from 12-12 to 18-18.

However, the Indian managed to earn two quick points and move up to 20-18 before wrapping up the game at 21-19, and with it the match in 44 minutes.

Ajay will next clash with fifth seeded Son Wan Ho of South Korea. He is the lone Indian left in the competition after Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu suffered shocking exits in the first round on Wednesday.

In the first round, Ajay defeated China’s Qiao Bin 21-11, 21-8 in 31 minutes.

(with inputs from PTI)