ajay jayaram, ajay jayaram, india, ajay jayaram badminton, korea open, korea open super series, korea open 2015, korea open badminton, chen long, chen long record, badminton news, badminton Ajay Jayaram lost 21-14 21-13 in what was the biggest final of his career. (Source: AP)
Facing World No.1 Chen Long, men’s singles reigning champ who operates to the consistency of a wrecking ball knocking down walls unfailingly, can evoke many responses. Usually, a spurt of defiant defense from the challenger draws the applause and wonderment of spectators for the underdog, given the Chinese is currently the best player in the world.
On Sunday, playing his first-ever Super Series final at the SK Handball Stadium in Seoul, India’s World No.32 Ajay Jayaram had a bunch of moments when his tenacious defense — he picked some low shuttles and returned from sharp awkward angles — drew gasps of admiration from the Korean crowd.
It proved the Indian had the answers, if his mind and body could follow up on that instinct for long periods. But the dream week for the Mumbai boy, who trains in Bangalore and who made the biggest final of his career, ended quietly as he went down 21-14, 21-13 in 39 minutes. It’s a good sign that many more Indians are climbing podiums of Super Series, juggling the giant cheque, mascot toy, medals and bouquets as runners up under the international circuit’s dazzling spotlight.