Fuzhou: Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan and five-time world champion Lin Dan of China saw his challenge ended at the first hurdle of China Open on Tuesday with a straight-sets defeat to World No. 1 Kento Momota. However, Lin was actually showing some very impressive fighting spirits in a 15-21, 21-23 loss to Momota.
Momota got off to a strong start in the first set, raced to a 4 to 1 before Lin Dan levelled it at 5-5. After Lin Dan had a 9-8 lead, Momota set off a wave of scoring spree to lead at 17-10. Although Lin tried to chase the points, Momota was holding firmly on the lead as he stayed ahead and took the first game 21-15.
In the second game, Lin Dan took advantage of Momota’s mistakes to lead at 5-1. Momota fought back, but Lin was able to get ahead of Momota with 11-9 at the interval. Lin continued to lead at 18-14 before Momota tied the score at 18-18. At 19-19, Momota had a chance to reach match point, but his smash went out of bound. Both players battled into 21-21 before Momota reeled off two consecutive points to come from behind to win at 23-21.
This was Momota’s second victory against Lin Dan this year, and Lin Dan had once again stopped in the first round of a tournament, which was his eighth-time this year.
It is worth mentioning that Lin Dan will again face Kento Momota in the first round of the Hong Kong Open that will kick off next Tuesday.
“I am ok to face him in the first round of two consecutive tournaments, I hope I can do better at the Hong Kong Open,” said Lin Dan.
“I am going to slowly improve my competitiveness, and to boost my confidence,” added Lin Dan.
Momota will face Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark in the second round.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong also advanced to the second round by defeating Berry Angriawan/Hardianto Hardianto of Indonesia 22-20, 21-18. Goh/Tan will play No. 3 seeds Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan of China next.