Almere, The Netherlands: Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram notched up a superb straight-game win over Estonia's Raul Must in the finals to defend his men's singles title at the Dutch Open Grand Prix here on Sunday.
Just three weeks after reaching his maiden Super Series final at Korea Open, Jayaram continued his rampaging run as he defeated 12th seed and World No.48 Raul 21-12 21-18 in a 34-minute lop-sided match.
The 28-year-old Mumbai-born shuttler had lost to Raul way back in 2010 Austrian International Challenge but a lot has happened ever since as Jayaram dished out a dominating show to walk away with the title without much ado.
In the opening game, World No. 26 Jayaram opened up a 4-0 lead early on and didn't allow Raul to come anywhere near him as he extended his lead and eventually earned the bragging rights.
Raul, who had ended the run of another Indian RMV Gurusaidutt in the quarterfinals, showed signs of recovery in the second game when he turned the tables on Jayaram at 6-5 at the Topsportcentrum.
But the Indian quickly clawed back and broke off at 7-7 to keep his nose ahead even though Raul kept breathing down his neck. Jayaram, who is coached by Tom John at Bangalore, grabbed two match points first and then slammed the door on Must to clinch a deserving win.
Jayaram had won the Dutch Open, his maiden title last year. This is the second title of his career.
"It is a good result. The way he has made a comeback from injury and then to reach back to back finals at Korea and win at Dutch is commendable. I hope it gives him the confidence in the next events," Chief Coach Pullela Gopichand told PTI.
"He always had the game and it is a matter of confidence.
So it is a very good win and I wish him all the best."
Asked if Jayaram has a chance of qualifying for Olympics, Gopichand said: "Yes, definitely. This are early days and I think if he can continue his form, good things can happen."
Talking about the level of competition in Indian badminton, Gopichand said: "It is really goods. I am happy with the way things are going. A lot of players are doing well. Infact Manu and Sumeeth also reached the finals and I hope they win the title.
"Also, there are juniors such as Krishna Prasad Garaga and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy who won the Asia U17 & U15 Junior Championships in boys doubles. So overall, many good things happening and it is important to set the bar even higher now."