India's Ajay Jayaram on Thursday entered the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open Super Series with a hard-fought victory over Denmark's Viktor Axelsen in a men's singles match at the prestigious event.
The unseeded Jayaram stunned Axelsen, seeded fourth, 9-21 21-14 21-19 in a match that lasted 44 minutes at the Stadium Perpaduan.
Jayaram will next clash with fifth seeded Son Wan Ho of South Korea.
After going down tamely in the opening game, Jayaram got his act together to take an early lead in the second game and jump to 8-3.
He continued to maintain his lead until the Danish caught up with him at 11-11. But the lad from Chennai managed to break away at 12-12, reeling off six straight points to make it 18-12. He eventually sealed it 21-14 to take the match to the decider.
Despite starting off well in the third game and having a slight edge till the break, Jayaram conceded the advantage. And what followed was a neck-and-neck battle from 12-12 to 18-18.
However, the Indian managed to hold on to his nerves to earn two quick points and move up to 20-18 before wrapping up the game in style at 21-19, and with it the match.