Ajay Jayaram finishes runner-up at White Nights International Challenge

Ajay Jayaram aggravated a hamstring injury at the Senior Nationals last year. An old knee injury also flared up and he was out of action for over six months.

On a comeback trail after recovering from injury, Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram finished runners-up at the White Nights International Challenge after losing in the finals against top seed Pablo Abian of Spain.

The 30-year-old Indian, who entered the semifinals at the US Open World Tour 300 event last month, had an impressive run at the tournament before losing 21-11 16-21 17-21 to Pablo in a 55-minute summit clash.

“It feels good to be winning matches again. Quite happy with the way I’m playing now. Especially considering being off for so long and until even a couple of months ago I had a lot of doubts about my hamstring. So I feel quite positive with the last couple of results – the US open semis and this one,” Jayaram told PTI.

“A lot of positives to take from both the tournaments. It gives me motivation to continue to work harder and hopefully I can improve on this in the coming tournaments.”

Jayaram, who had achieved a career-best ranking of world no 13 in April last year, aggravated a hamstring injury at the Senior Nationals. An old knee injury also flared up and he was out of action for over six months. It affected his ranking as it nosedived 96.

The Mumbai shuttler made a comeback in April and reached the US Open semifinals last month. He is now itching to comeback to the big league and would play at the Super 100 and 300 events to rack up his ranking.

“I will be playing the Russian GP next. I will be focusing on Super 100, 300 and maybe Challenger events in the coming months. I need to get my ranking up before I can get back into the big league of Super Series,” said Jayaram.

Meanwhile, men’s doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Saurabh Sharma lost 21-18 13-21 17-21 to German combo of Bjarne Geiss and Jan Colin Völker in the semi-finals.

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