Lin Dan faces tough task against Kento Momota in China Open first round

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Kento Momota (L) and Lin Dan will be the primary focus in the China Open first round. (photo: AFP)

Fuzhou: 2018 has been a difficult year for two-time Olympic and five-time world champion Lin Dan so far this season.

It got a little bit tougher when he was drawing against World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the first round of the China Open that will be held from November 6 to November 11 in Fuzhou, China.

Lin Dan’s performance has taken a nose dive this season, suffering seven first round exits and with the latest early exit came in the third round of SaarLorLux Open last Thursday when he lost to Subhankar Dey of India 20-22, 19-21.

But for Chinese badminton fans, perhaps the most exciting aspect of this year’s China Open is to hope Lin Dan could turn back the clock and put up some good shows when facing Momota on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, when talking to reporters at the Narita Airport on Sunday before leaving for China, Momota said that mental toughness would be the key to defeat Lin Dan.

“If I care too much about Lin Dan’s illustrative career achievements, my body will be become stiff during the match. Therefore, I must play like how I played at the Japan Open, keep calm and try to seize the opportunity to win the match,” said Momota.

The World No. 1 defeated Lin Dan easily 21-8, 21-10 in the quarter-final of Japan on September 14, 2018.

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