Birmingham: World No. 1 Kento Momota created history of becoming the first Japanese men’s singles player to ever win the world’s oldest badminton tournament on Sunday, while China’s Chen Yufei bagged the second title for China after Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan won the women’s doubles earlier Sunday.
The 24-year-old Japanese was just physically impressive compared to Viktor Axelsen of Denmark as he managed to return pretty much every dangerous shot from Axelsen to claim the first set 21-11.
Confidence was clearly flowing through Axelsen midway through the second set as his smashes were so powerful that they were able to pierce through Momota’s defense. Axelsen claimed the second set 21-15.
Momota upped his tempo in the decider, moving Axelsen all over the court and launched attacks when he found a chance and ultimately beating the Dane 21-15.
“Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to win the All England. This is one of the biggest moments in my career, and it really boosted my confidence,” said Momota after the match.
“I was playing more on the defensive side in the second set, and I realized I couldn’t do that against the strong smashes from Viktor in the decider,” added Momota.
“Therefore, I didn’t stick to any sort of game plan in the third-set, I just gave everything I had and played my best.”
“I hope my victory could encourage and inspire more Japanese players to do well in the sport.”
Momota had won the World championships, Asian championships, and ranked as World No. 1. He can now add the World’s oldest tournament to his collection.
After losing 11-times to World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan, World No. 4 Chen Yufei could finally break the “Tai Tzu Ying” jinx in the All England women’s singles final by beating the Taiwanese player 21-17, 21-17 to claim her first All England title.
In the rematch of last year’s All England final, No. 1 seeds Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong of China weren’t going to let history repeat itself, outlasting No. 3 seeds Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino of Japan 21-17, 22-20 in 41 minutes to win their first ever All England title as a pair. Huang won her first mixed doubles All England in 2017 partnering Lu Kai.