Kento Momota beats Viktor Axelsen to claim Malaysia Masters

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Kento Momota wins the 2020 Malaysia Masters. (photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP Via Getty Images)
Kento Momota wins the 2020 Malaysia Masters. (photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP Via Getty Images)

Kuala Lumpur: Japan’s World No. 1 Kento Momota turned on his most impressive performance of the tournament by beating Denmark’s World No. 5 Viktor Axelsen 24-22, 21-11 in the men’s singles final on Sunday.

The first set was tightly contested, as Axelsen rallied from 13-18 to lead at 20-19. But Momota held his nerves to overcame three game-points by taking the first set 24-22.

The second set was completely one-sided, as Momota managed to play good defense against Axelsen’s aggressive attacks, thus, quickly opened up a 13-2, 17-3 lead, before winning the game 21-11.

Momota who won 11 international titles in 2019, pocketed USD $30k for the Malaysia Masters title and is now looking to become the first Japanese to win the Olympic gold in men’s singles.

“My condition was not perfect coming into the Malaysia Masters, but I was focused and was able to play calmly,” said Momota.

“I may not be the strongest, but I can read the game well and know when to focus on attack and defense,” added Momota.

In men’s doubles, qualifiers Lee Yong Dae/Kim Gi Jung went all the way to beat World No. 4 Li Junhui/Liu Yu Chen of China 21-14, 21-16 to win their first title of 2020.

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