Kento Momota sets up mouthwatering clash with Chen Long in China Open semi-final

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Chen Long slowly works his way back into form. (photo: AFP)
Chen Long slowly works his way back into form. (photo: AFP)

Fuzhou: Men’s singles top seed Kento Momota of Japan issued a chilling warning to his China Open challengers on Friday by storming to a 21-17, 21-14 victory over seventh seed Son Wan Ho of Korea to set up a blockbuster semi-final against Rio Olympic champion, Chen Long of China on Saturday.

The No. 6 seed Chen Long scraped past Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-18, 21-16 in the other quarter-final to set up his fourth encounter with Momota in the last four.

“Antonsen was playing very proactively today. He has improved a lot,” said Chen Long after the quarter-final match.

“I’ll have to start preparing for tomorrow’s match against Kento Momota. I’m not going to give myself too much pressure, we just played against each other in the French Open semi-final two weeks ago,” added Chen Long

In other men’s singles quarter-final, No. 2 seed Shi Yuqi struggled in the first set, but bounced back to beat No. 8 seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 16-21, 21-14, 21-14 in 62 minutes.

Shi Yuqi faces No. 4 seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the semi-final. The Taiwanese player overcame India’s Kidambi Srikanth 21-14, 21-14 in the last eight.

Meanwhile, men’s doubles No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia saved a game point in the first set before closing out the match over Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 22-20, 21-17. The World No. 1 Indonesians will be up against No. 3 seeds Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan of China.

Indonesia’s former men’s doubles world champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan will square off home pair He Jiting/Tan Qiang in another men’s doubles semi-final match for a final berth.

In women’s competition, No. 4 seed Chen Yufei showed off her sizzling form to close out the quarter-final match against No. 6 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 15-21, 21-9, 21-11. Chen will meet Spain’s No. 5 seed Carolina Marin in the semis while Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara will clash with No. 8 seed He Bingjiao of China in other women’s semi-final.

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