Shuttler Jayaram stuns Chou, enters Korea Open final

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram threw up a surprise to shock seventh seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei and enter his maiden Superseries final at the $600,000 Korea Open in Seoul on Saturday.

Jayaram took just 44 minutes to move past the World No.7 Chen 21-19, 21-15 at the S.K. Handball Stadium to earn his third victory in five meetings over the Chinese Taipei shuttler.

“A huge win for me today. Both strategically and mentally I did a good job. I had lost twice to him earlier this year. I was much more patient today and opened out the rallies well. I controlled the game well from the net and mixed my attack nicely,” Jayaram told IANS from the South Korean capital.

The Mumbaikar now faces a huge task ahead as he will take on Chinese top seed and reigning doubles World Champion Chen Long in the men’s singles summit clash on Sunday.

“I am definitely excited to be in my first Superseries final. But I will try not to dwell too much on the past few matches and focus on tomorrow’s one. I know it’s going to be tough. But I’ve had a good run, I am moving well. So I am positive and confident and hope to do my best!” added Jayaram.

The 27-year-old Indian had a good start taking an 11-8 lead at the first game break. But Chou somehow found the legs to win the next seven points and take a 15-11 lead.

Jayaram fought back and did not allow Chou to extend the lead, levelling at 17-17 and bagged four out of the next six points to take the lead.

The second game also proved to be a topsy-turvy contest as Jayaram looked good with a 10-16 and then a 12-9 lead. But the seventh seed once again won the next five points to go 14-12 up.

The Indian again checked Chou and from 14-15 down, World No.32 Jayaram smashed his way through by clinching seven straight points to set a date with the World No.1.

“He took an initial lead in the first set but I am happy. I was able to keep my composure and get back strongly,” concluded the Indian.

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