Unseeded Ajay Jayaram stunned third seed Rasmus Gemke of Denmark 21-18, 17-21, 21-13 to join PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth and two doubles teams in the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open BWF Super-300 tournament in Basel on Thursday.
Late on Wednesday, Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and Lakshya Sen crashed out of the tournament.
World No.60 Jayaram took 66 minutes to get past world No.12 Rasmus. In the decider, Jayaram won six straight points from 11-9 to seal the contest. The Dane was the runner-up at the Denmark Open last October.
In the quarterfinals on Friday, Jayaram will face Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand. The three-time world junior champion defeated Sourabh Verma of India 21-17, 21-14.
“Early lead was the key in the third game. I managed to maintain pressure throughout the third set. I knew getting into today’s match, that it would be a test mentally and physically as Gemke is someone who likes to play those hard rallies at a good pace. Though the second set did not go my way, I was confident about the third game,” Jayaram told ToI, adding that the focus is to get ready for the next match.
“Happy with today’s gruelling win. The focus now is on getting my body ready for quarterfinals,” Jayaram added.
Sai and Srikanth registered contrasting victories. While Sai trounced Pablo Abian of Spain 21-12, 21-17, Srikanth downed Thomas Rouxel of France 21-10, 14-21, 21-14.
Fourth seed Srikanth plays sixth seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in the last eight.. Kantaphon enjoys a 1-0 win-loss record against Srikanth. Fifth seed Sai meets second seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia.
“Another well fought win! We keep moving,” tweeted Srikanth after the hard fought victory.
Sindhu needed just 35 minutes to oust Iris Wang of USA 21-13, 21-14. In the quarterfinals, Sindhu will play Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand. The world No.7 Indian enjoys a 11-1 career record against Busanan.
Thai youngster Phittayaporn Chaiwan, who stunned Saina in the first round 21-16, 17-21, 23-21, packed off former world No.2 Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 22-20, 21-19 on Thursday. Phittayaporn is expected to meet Sindhu in the semifinals on Saturday.
The mixed pair of Satwiksai Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa posted an impressive 21-18, 21-16 win over Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari of Indonesia in the second round.
Second-seeded men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty struggled past unseeded Indonesian duo of Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan 21-17, 20-22, 21-17.
Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini and Sikki Reddy lost to Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn of Denmark 21-11, 21-15 in the pre-quarterfinals.
Indian results (Rd II):
Men’s singles:5-Sai Praneeth bt Pablo Abian (ESP) 21-12, 21-17;
4-Kidambi Srikanth bt Thomas Rouxel (Fra) 21-10, 14-21, 21-14;
Ajay Jayaram bt 3-Rasmus Gemke (Den) 21-18, 17-21, 21-13;
8-Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Sourabh Verma 21-17, 21-14.
2-PV Sindhu bt Iris Wang (USA) 21-13, 21-14.
2-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty bt Pramudya Kusumawardana/Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan 21-17, 20-22, 21-17.
Amalie Magelund/Freja Ravn (Den) bt Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy 21-11, 21-15.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa bt Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari (Ina) 21-18, 21-16.