Tokyo: The World No. 1 men’s singles player Kento Momota admitted that fatigue inevitably played a critical role in his loss to Son Wan-Ho of Korea in the Hong Kong Open semi-finals last Saturday.
Momota’s path to the semi-finals was an extremely grueling one, needed three-sets in all his matches.
The Japanese star beat Lin Dan 21-19, 12-21, 21-15 in the first round, overcame Kanta Tsuneyama 17-21, 21-17, 21-16 in the second round, outlasted Jonatan Christie 22-24, 21-9, 21-9 in quarter-final, before losing to Son Wan-Ho also in three-sets 21-18, 16-21, 19-21.
The 24-year-old told Japanese media he was struggling physically in the semi-finals.
“I was extremely exhausted in the semi-final,” said Momota.
“I was trying to up my tempo, but I just couldn’t move my legs,” added Momota.
After being reinstated to the Japan national team this past January, Momota had been playing in almost all tournaments including Japan Open, China Open, Denmark Open, French Open, Fuzhou China Open, Hong Kong Open. The only tournament he didn’t play was Korean Open, as he withdrew citing an injury.
At the end of 2018, Momota will have to play in the BWF World Tour Finals to be held in Guangzhou from December 12 to December 16. After that, he will be playing in the Malaysian Purple League.
The reigning World Champion said that he has the responsibility of playing in some of these tournaments in comply with his sponsorship obligations.