Kento Momota wins Indonesia Open with victory over Viktor Axelsen

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Kento Momota beats Viktor Axelsen 2-0 at 2018 Indonesia Open final. (photo: AFP)
Kento Momota beats Viktor Axelsen 2-0 at 2018 Indonesia Open final. (photo: AFP)

Jakarta: The unseeded Kento Momota of Japan who will be chasing his first World Championships title in Nanjing end of July, displayed his unrivalled superiority on the court with a 21-14, 21-9 victory over No. 1 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the Indonesia Open final on Sunday.

Momota began his quest for a second Indonesia Open title with a strong 11-1 start in the first set, and although Axelsen managed to put up greater resistance in the second half of the first game, there was never any doubt about the result as Momota took the first set 21-14.

The 23-year-old Momota found life a little easier in the second set, holding his attacks and incredible net shots throughout, opened up opportunities to force Axelsen to make errors. Momota scored the match point after the top seed failed to return a very tight net shots from the Japanese player.

The victory was Momota’s biggest success since his return from a 12-month ban imposed by Nippon Badminton Association after the illegal gambling scandal. This was Momota’s second Indonesia Open crown, he defeated Jan Jorgensen of Denmark 16-21, 21-19, 21-7 to win his maiden Indonesia Open title in 2015.

“This is really an important win for me ahead of the World Championships and Asian Games,” said Momota.

In men’s doubles, No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo who displayed disrespectful attitudes to No. 5 seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark at the end of the quarter-final match on Friday by showing an impolite thumbs-down gesture towards the Denmark pair, quickly established their dominance in the final by beating No. 7 seeds Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko 21-13, 21-16 on Sunday.

Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko take selfies with Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. (photo: AFP)
Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko take selfies with Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. (photo: AFP)

The tension between Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and the Danish duo of Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding could be trace all the way back to the 2017 India Open semi-finals. When the players shook hands at the end of the match, Mads Conrad took hold of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo’s hand and seemed to say something not so nice to Kevin. The Dane was clearly unhappy with Kevin Sanjaya’s behavior during the match. The Indonesian coach had to intervene quickly before the situation escalated.

Malaysia’s Tan Wee Kiong/Goh V Shem were also not impress with Kevin Sanjaya’s inappropriate on court behavior, where Tan Wee Kiong refused to shake the hands of Kevin Sanjaya in the semi-final of 2016 India Open and Goh V Shem would often mock Kevin Sanjaya’s move by pretending to hit a shuttlecock in the air when the shuttlecock was clearly out of bound.

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