Ajay stuns Olympic bronze medallist Axelsen to reach quarter-finals
Newly crowned India Open champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark was dumped out of the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open Superseries Premier when he went down to India's Ajay Jayaram in a second round match at Stadium Perpaduan in Petrajaya, Kuching on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Dane, who won the India Open last week for only his second superseries title after winning the Australian Open last year, was beaten in a 44-minute three-set thriller. The 30-year-old Indian came back strongly after losing the first for a 9-21, 21-14, 21-19 which he described as "sweet" with revenge.
The win gave the unseeded Ajay a 3-2 lead in the head-to-head count. The Dane beat the Indian 23-21, 21-17 in the first round in last week's India Open.
However, it was Ajay's calls at the Stadium Perpaduan as he showed his craftiness with deft shots that often caught the lanky Dane on the wrong foot many a time - leaving the his opponent in a daze.
"This win gives me confidence that I still have competitive badminton in me. After losing in the first round in the India Open it nice to be in the quarter-finals," said Ajay who is ranked 19 in the world.
Ajay will face South Korean fifth seed Son Wan-ho who strolled past Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto 21-15, 21-15 in 38 minutes.
Lin Dan, seeded seventh, gave a commanding display of badminton as he tormented Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk with an easy 21-8, 21-13 win in 31 minutes to earn a quarter-final clash against Indonesia's Jonatan Christie who prevailed 21-23, 21-17, 21-19 over Taiwan's Chou Tien Chen.