Ajay seeks a physio to boost his game

Ajay Jayaram's ability to challenge the best in badminton was witnessed during his victories over Rio Olympics bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen and World No. 9 Tian Houwei. Ajay, ranked 13th, wants to continue his ascent to the top.

World No. 13 Ajay Jayaram is keen to earn a spot in the upper echelons of the ranking list.   -  G. P. SAMPATH KUMAR

At the Malaysia Open last month, Ajay Jayaram defeated Rio Olympics bronze medal winner, Viktor Axelsen, in the round-of-16. A few weeks later, the shuttler went past another big name in China’s Tian Houwei.

The two victories over top-10 players has shown that Ajay can challenge the best in the business.

The World No. 13 is keen to take the next step, and earn a spot in the upper echelons of the ranking list.

“In order to get into the top-10, you need to win two or three Super Series events. To do that, you need
to work on all your weak points. Having one type of game can only get you into the top-20, but with so many different types of players around, you should be able to deal with them all."

"In my case, I’m a little impatient, when it comes to a facing a defensive guy who likes to lob the shuttle around. That’s why the victory over Tian - a grinder - was huge for me,” Jayaram said, during the PSPB inter-unit badminton championship here.

The Chennai-born player takes motivation from Sai Praneeth’s recent Singapore Open Super Series title win. “It is not just Praneeth, you have six-seven Indian guys who have been doing so well. We push each
other, and it motivates me to perform as well as them if not better,” Jayaram, the nation’s highest-ranked male singles player, said.

Much like Praneeth’s current breakthrough run, Jayaram enjoyed a stellar phase in 2015, when he captured the Dutch Open title, shortly after finishing as runner-up at the Korea Open Super Series. In an effort to ride the wave and improve his ranking, Jayaram competed in a host of tournaments. The move backfired.

“I was overburdened with tournaments, because I thought I could continue getting good results and qualify for Rio. In hindsight, it was bad planning. I’m spacing out my entries now,” he said.

The 29-year-old appealed to sports foundation to help him with training expenses.

“If I get a full-time physio, it will be a huge boost to my fitness and my overall game. If Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) or GoSports Foundation can come forward to help, it will be great,” he said.

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