New Delhi: Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram inched closer to his third international title after battling past compatriot Anand Pawar in the semifinals of the Yonex Dutch Open Grand Prix Gold in Almere on Saturday.
23-year-old Jayaram, who clinched the Czech Open title early this month, overcame 14th seed Pawar 21-18 21-18 in a 40-minute battle to set up a summit clash with the winner of the other semifinal between sixth seed local player Eric Pang and fifth Japanese Sho Sasaki on Sunday.
Jayaram and Pawar were locked in a gruelling battle till 16-all after which the former broke off and pocketed four straight point to move to 20-16.
Pawar saved two game points but it was not enough as Jayaram closed the issue in his name.
In the second game, the Tamil Nadu shuttler opened up a 11-5 lead and maintained the distance as Pawar`s game crumbled.
Jayaram beat Russian Ivan Sozonov 21-10 21-8, while Anand Pawar battled past 12th seed Scott Evans of Ireland 22-20 14-21 21-18 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Defending champion Chetan Anand also crashed out of the tournament after losing his quarterfinal round on Friday against fifth Japanese Sho Sasaki 21-19 21-12 in the men`s singles.