Kento Momota tops Viktor Axelsen to enter Japan Open final

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The new king of badminton is here, his name is Kento Momota. (photo: AFP)
The new king of badminton is here, his name is Kento Momota. (photo: AFP)

Tokyo: Kento Momota who has completed double-victory against Lee Chong Wei, Shi Yuqi, Chen Long, and defeated Lin Dan once thus far this year, has strengthened his status as the new king of badminton by beating World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen for the third time this season in the semi-final of Japan Open 21-18, 21-11 on Saturday in a 53-minute battle.

“It’s very challenging to play long rallies with Axelsen while trying to defend his attacks,” said Momota.

“To win the match, I had to run all over the court and chase the shuttlecock aggressively until last minute,” added Momota.

Momota became the first Japanese male player to ever win the badminton World Championships title last month, after defeating Shi Yuqi of China 21-11, 21-13 in the final.

The Japanese player will take on Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand on Sunday.

Khosit Phetpradab continued his superlative run in Tokyo, seeing off Lee Dong Keun of South Korea 21-12, 21-16.

Meanwhile, men’s doubles top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia was made to work, coming from dropping a set to knock out He Jiting/Tan Qiang of China 21-16, 14-21, 21-13 in 52 minutes.

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo whom successfully imposing their game of flat, quick net exchanges to defeat Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China, 21-17, 21-18 in the Asian Games team event final three weeks ago, will meet the Chinese pair and the 2018 world champions again in the Japan Open final.

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