The Indian challenge ended as Ajay Jayaram lost to Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the semi-finals of the Super 300 Barcelona Spain Masters played on Saturday.
In the first game, both players fought for each point right from word go. It was neck to neck after the interval and continued his efforts till 20-20. The Thailand player held his nerves to win the first set at 22-20.
Ajay Jayaram committed lots of mistakes in the 2nd game and the Thailand player took advantage of the mistakes. At the interval, Vitidsarn took an 11-6 lead. After the interval, Jayaram looked out of sorts and made small errors that costed the Indian. The Thailand player showed his class and won the 2nd game comfortably and move into the finals. Ajay Jayaram had a decent outing reaching the semi-finals of this tournament.
Kidambi Srikanth was knocked out in the 2nd round to Ajay Jayaram. Saina Nehwal hopes of qualifying for Tokyo Olympics hopes were dashed as she lost in the quarterfinals to Busan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in two straight sets by 20-22, 19-21. It was a disappointing performance by the Indian shuttlers who looked out of sorts.
Parupalli Kashyap had to retire mid-way due to an injury. Sameer Verma performed reasonably well reaching the quarterfinals. Kidambi Srikanth’s poor performance continued as he lost in the 2nd round and hopes of qualifying for a prestigious tournament in Tokyo is looking in danger.
The mixed doubles of Pranav Chopra and Sikki Reddy reached the 2nd round. Saina Nehwal won her first two matches easily before coming against a tough Thailand opponent which she lost the previous two times before coming into this match.
It is going to be a massive challenge for these top two shuttlers to maintain good performances after such a disappointing start to the year so far. Kidambi Srikanth failed to cross the first round in the first three events while Saina reached her 2nd quarterfinals event of the year.