Kuala Lumpur: World No. 1 Kento Momota who lost to Lee Chong Wei in the final last year, thwarted a first-set challenge from Jan Jorgensen to reach the second round of the 2019 Malaysia Open on Tuesday with a 20-22, 21-13, 21-11 victory.
The No. 1 seed Japanese will meet Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie next.
After losing his first set 20-22 to Sameer Verma of India, the No. 2 seed Shi Yuqi of China had to raised his level even higher at the end of second game, as he saved four match points before forcing a decider with 23-21 victory. The Indian player looked demoralized in the decider as he allowed Shi to score so effortlessly that he silenced Verma with a 21-12 win.
Shi will battle Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the last 16.
World No. 11 Kenta Nishimoto had his mettle tested to kick off his 2019 Malaysia Open campaign against World No. 8 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, but the Japanese found a second gear to advance into the second round.
Nishimoto needed 69 minutes to prevail 18-21, 21-13, 23-21 as the Japanese produced an impressive display to battle back from a set down.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s independent player Daren Liew however was sent packing in the first round, losing to Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 10-21, 15-21.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s independent pair Chooi Kah Ming/Low Juan Shen stunned China’s He Jiting/Tan Qiang of China 21-18, 24-22 to advance to the second round. Chooi/Tan will next take on reigning All England champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
After their first round exit at the India Open last week, Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia managed to see off Tinn Isriyanet/Kittisak Namdash 21-14, 21-18 to face No. 3 seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda of Japan on Thursday.