Malaysia Open: Lee Chong Wei sets up final showdown with Kento Momota

Lee Chong Wei meets Kento Momota in the Malaysia Open final. (photo: AP)
Lee Chong Wei meets Kento Momota in the Malaysia Open final. (photo: AP)

Kuala Lumpur: 11-time Malaysia Open champion Lee Chong Wei is now within one match of claiming a record 12th Malaysia Open title after seeing off the unseeded Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-18, 21-15 at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City, in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia. This was the 14th time that the Malaysian maestro has reached the summit clash at his home court and Sunday’s match will be the 103th final of his stellar career.

The 35-year-old Lee needed only 33 minutes to defeat his Indonesian opponent to set up a mouthwatering submit clash against the former World No. 2 Kento Momota of Japan in the title showdown.

“Tommy was in top form after beating World No. 3 Shi Yuqi yesterday, and I am satisfied with my performance to be able to beat him for the 17th time,” said Lee.

“Momota is a very talented player. After both Lin Dan and I retire from badminton, him and Axelson will be the two main players of the sport,” said Lee.

Momota, on the other hand, started superbly against India’s Kidambi Srikanth in the other semi-final, won the first set 21-13. The second set went with strong attack and very minimal mistakes from Momota, which the Japanese easily won 21-13.

The 23-year-old Momota, who had beaten Lee 21-19, 21-14 in the semi-final of the Asian Badminton Championships in Wuhan on April 28, 2018, is on a 21-match win streak dating back to his Vietnam International Challenge victory in March 2018.

“I am going to take it easy and enjoy the final tomorrow,” said Momota.

Meanwhile, both Japanese men’s pairs including unseeded Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe and No. 6 seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda have advanced to the final after beating their Chinese counterparts in the semi-finals.

Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe shocked No. 4 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen 24-22, 19-21, 21-17 in 78 minutes while Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda eased past He Jiting/Tan Qiang 21-14, 21-19 in just 34 minutes.


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