Kento Momota ousts Chen Long in China Open semi-final

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Kento Momota (L) battles past Chen Long in China Open semi-final. (photo: AFP)
Kento Momota (L) battles past Chen Long in China Open semi-final. (photo: AFP)

Fuzhou: World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan ruined World No. 5 Chen Long’s ambitions of a 5th career China Open title as he beat the home shuttler 19-21, 21-17, 21-17 in China Open semi-final on Saturday.

In an 8th meeting between the two top players in the world, the stubborn Momota simply refused to be beaten as he came back from 9-13 in the decider to eke out a hard-fought victory over Chen after 97 compelling minutes.

“I lost the decider because I was not so focused when leading at 13-9, I am going to review the video with the coach,” said Chen Long.

“Both Momota and myself were playing more patiently. I still have problems during tight rallies. I’ll need to evaluate the game,” added Chen Long.

The win was a sweet revenge for Momota after his loss to Chen in French Open semi-final two weeks ago.

Momota will play World No. 3 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the final.

Chou was in ruthless form as he overpowered World No. 2 Shi Yuqi of China 21-11, 21-10 in the other semi-final.

In men’s doubles, No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia started poorly before overcoming Chinese shuttlers No. 3 seeds Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan 17-21, 21-18, 21-14 in 65 minutes.

Gideon/Sukamuljo will next play unseeded pair He Jiting/Tan Qiang of China after the Chinese pair defeated unseeded Indonesians and former world champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 21-14, 21-15 in 35 minutes.

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