Kento Momota wins Fuzhou China Open, his 10th title of 2019

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Kento Momota wins his 10th title of 2019 at Fuzhou China Open. (photo: Xinhua)
Kento Momota wins his 10th title of 2019 at Fuzhou China Open. (photo: Xinhua)

Fuzhou: World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan defeated World No. 2 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 21-15, 17-21, 21-18 in a rematch of last year’s final to retain his Fuzhou China Open title on Sunday.

Momota also matched Lee Chong Wei’s record of winning 10 titles in a single season after claiming the 2019 Fuzhou China Open crown.

This is the 13th career meeting between the two players. Even though Chou tried to narrow the gap several times in the first set, Momota increased his attacks after 11-9 to eventually won the first game 21-15.

The 29-year-old Chou who was playing without a coach and instead relied on his longtime physio to guide him courtside during matches, forced Momota to commit several mistakes at the end of second game with a 21-17 second set win.

Both players were neck-and-neck in the decider where the score was tied at 15-15, 16-16, 17-17 before Momota reached 20-17 with aggressive attacks. Chou was able to save a match point but hit the shuttlecock to the net to give Momota the championship point.

Momota then fell onto his back, clenching his fists and screamed in celebration.

“I did good in several of my attacks, but his skills at the net were better than mine,” said Chou after the match.

“It’s hard for me to take advantage of the game and I really need to work on my net shots,” added Chou.

The women’s final was an also a grueling affair as Chen Yufei lost the first game to Nozomi Okuhara 9-21. Chen managed to recover from the first game loss to win the next two sets 21-12, 21-18 to defend the title.

Meanwhile, the defeat was Okuhara’s six straight losses in the finals this season.

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