Indian shuttlers Ajay Jayaram, Mithun Manjunath enter Vietnam Open semifinals

India shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and Mithun Manjunath on Friday advanced to the Men’s singles semifinals of the Vietnam Open Super Tour 100 tournament. 

Jayaram, former World No.13, beat Canada’s Sheng Xiaodong 26-24, 21-17 while Manjunath edged past China’s Zhou Zeqi 17-21, 21-19, 21-11. Jayaram and Manjunath will meet Japan’s Yu Igarashi and Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito respectively in the semifinals 

Jayaram started the first set with a healthy 5-0 lead but Xiaodong fought back to lead with seven straight points. Xiaodong threatened to take the first set when he set up two crucial game points but Jayaram held his nerves to force a deuce. Jayaram eventually won 26-24. 

In the second set, Xiaodong turned aggressive and led Jayaram 7-3 in the start. Jayaram came back into the match to lead by three points at the break (11-8). He then surged ahead to win the second set 21-17 and the match in straight sets. 

The 20-year-old Mithun Manjunath survived Zhou Zeqi’s probing attack to win a neck-and-neck quarterfinal match by 17-21, 21-19, 21-11. Manjunath, a semifinalist at the Russian Open last month, will face Indonesian World No. 79 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the penultimate clash. 

In the Women’s singles, former national champion Rituparna Das lost to Thailand’s Phittayaporn Chaiwan in the quarterfinals. Das was outwitted 19-21, 14-21 by the World No. 9. 

(With PTI inputs)