HO CHI MINH CITY: India’s Ajay Jayaram stood a step away from his first title of the season as he made it to the finals of the Vietnam Open after defeating Japan’s Yu Igarashi in straight games in Ho Chi Minh City.
The 30-year-old Indian, who is making a comeback after recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered last year, saw off seventh seed Igarashi 21-14 21-19 in a 34-minute match.
Jayaram, who had reached the finals at White Nights last month, will face Indonesia’s World No. 79 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the finals of the $75,000 BWF Tour Super 100 tournament.
Shesar, who had won four consecutive Indonesia International tournament, outwitted India’s Mithun Manjunath 21-17 19-21 21-14 in a match that lasted 59 minutes.
This is the third time in as many weeks that an Indian will be fighting for a title in a badminton event.
Last Sunday, Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu had settled for a silver medal after losing to Spain’s Carolina Marin in the summit clash at Nanjing, China.
A week before that, India’s Sourabh Verma had won the men’s singles title at Russia Open Tour Super 100 tournament. Jayaram, a former World No. 13, was clinical in the opening game as he kept distancing himself from his rival after opening up a slender 3-1 lead at the start. He held a 11-8 advantage at the interval.
After the break, Jayaram jumped to a 15-8 lead by reeling off five straight points. Igarashi tried to make a comeback but the Indian continued to march ahead to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Igarashi opened up a 4-1 lead initially but Jayaram clawed his way back with three points. The duo went neck and neck after that before Jayaram held a 11-10 advantage at the breather.
After the break, Jayaram collected five points on the trot to jump to a 16-11 lead. The Japanese again recovered to 18-19 but the Indian shut the door on his opponent.