After a splendid performance at the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL), Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram on Thursday suffered a shock defeat against lower-ranked Chinese Yuekun Chen in the opening round of the China Masters here.
The world No. 24 Indian, who had beaten the likes of world No. 13 Wing ki Wong in Guangzhou, before defeating world No. 5 Tien Minh Nguyen twice and world No. 9 Jan o Jorgensen in the IBL, could not re-create the magic at the Olympic Sports Centre Xincheng Gymnasium here.
The Mumbai-based shuttler, who had played for champions Hyderabad Hotshots, lost 14-21, 21-23 to world No. 30 Chen in a 36-minute men’s singles here.
Jayaram will next play in the Japan Open.
The other Indian in fray, Anand Pawar too went down 21-12, 14-21, 16-21 in the second round to Sho Sasaki of Japan in a 55- minute duel.