Ajay Jayaram Looks at PBL as Platform to Make Strong Comeback Post Injury
Ajay Jayaram doesn't have a string of Superseries titles to his name, but it would only be fair to say that he was the most consistent Indian player on the circuit when Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy were down with injuries.
File photo Ajay Jayaram (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Amongst the breed of next-gen Indian badminton players, who are thorough professionals in the way they handle smashes on and off the court, Ajay Jayaram comes across as a player who doesn't quite fit the quintessential player's mould.
There is a palpable ease that the 30-year-old displays when he is on the court; whether he wins or loses is a different matter altogether. Having been the leader of the men's singles pack as recently as this April, when he achieved career-best ranking of 13, you do expect that kind of calm in a player.
Though Ajay doesn't have a string of Superseries titles to his name, but it would only be fair to say that he was the most consistent Indian player on the circuit, when Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy were down with injuries.
Playing the Korea Open Superseries final against Chen Long in 2015 will certainly go down as his biggest achievement, but his contribution in Indian badminton has been a lot more than that. Having successfully filled the void on the international arena, when all the others were either struggling with form or recuperating from injuries, Ajay has himself been injured for a major part of 2017 and that has kept him out of action.
"I have achieved success in the last two years. Korea Open finals at the end of 2015 has got be my biggest achievement. In 2016, I won the Grand Prix Gold Titles, and this year I was in the Top 15. So I was pretty happy with my progress before I got injured. Because of that I missed a lot of tournaments after the world championship. But that is a part of an athlete’s life, so now I'm just looking to come back on the court," Ajay told News 18 Sports during the launch of the third season of the PBL.
Talking of injuries, Ajay has been struck with them at crucial junctures in his career, when he could have scaled greater heights. Had he played a couple of more tournaments, he could have breached the top-10 mark too, who knows. Also, it was due to an injury that he had conceded the match to youngster Lakshya Sen at the Sr. Nationals.
"There was a time this year when I was feeling really good about myself. But still then I've had knee and hamstring issues. Obviously, there are a lot of factors that boil down to an injury, but there's not much that can be done.
"Also this year I was hoping win a few tournaments, but then that couldn't happen because of the injuries. Next year, the key would be to stay injury free and beat top players occasionally," he added.
For any top professional, training with a coach at an academy is of utmost importance. But Ajay doesn't subscribe to any such norms. In fact he hasn't had a coach after his stint with Tom John in Bangalore.
"I have trained at a lot of places. I was with Tom John quite recently, before I moved back to Mumbai. I think personalised coaching works for me far better than training with other hundreds. So I don't really know what I'm missing out on by not training at the Gopichand Academy. I have been there occasionally for sparring sessions, but now I've gotten used to individual kind of training," he signed off.
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