Kento Momota, Viktor Axelsen Make the 2022 Malaysia Open Semi-Finals

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Kento Momota and Viktor Axelsen are on course for a possible mouth-watering Malaysia Open final showdown. (photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Kento Momota and Viktor Axelsen are on course for a possible mouth-watering Malaysia Open final showdown. (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Kuala Lumpur: Both World No. 2 Kento Momota and World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen entered the 2022 Malaysia Open semi-finals on Friday.

Kento Momota’s first return to Malaysia after surviving a career-threatening fatal car crash on January 13, 2020, has been extremely well received by the fans and they were not shy of giving their full support to Momota as if he were one of the Malaysian players.

After receiving a walkover by Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in the first round, Momota had an easy quarter-final match against Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia when the World No. 26 Rhustavito injured his right calf muscles when Momota was leading at 13-6 in the first set.

Due to the injury, Rhustavito had to retired from the match and needed to be wheeled out of the court in a wheelchair.

Momota will play World No. 18 Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand next.

In another men’s quarter-final, World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen was made to work before overcoming World No. 6 Anthony Ginting Sinisuka 18-21, 21-17, 21-12. Axelsen will play World No. 8 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia for a ticket to the final.

Highlights of Viktor Axelsen vs. Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in Malaysia Open quarter-finals:

The women’s competition saw World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan set up her 22nd career head-to-head meeting with World No. 4 Chen Yufei of China in the semi-finals on Saturday. In the top half of the draw, World No. 13 Wang Zhi Yi of China will play World No. 8 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand for a final berth.

In women’s doubles, Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti shocked World No. 1 Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan of China 14-21, 21-13, 21-16 on Friday and will play Jeong Na Eun/Kim Hye Jeong of Korea in the semi-final.

Since they won the 2022 Badminton Asia Championships on May 1st, the former World No. 1 mixed doubles pair from China, Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong were unstoppable as they have racked up titles including the 2022 Thailand Open, 2022 Indonesia Masters, and 2022 Indonesia Open. Now, Zheng/Huang are on course for another title when they meet World No. 15 Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje of Denmark in the semi-finals. The Tokyo Olympics gold medalists will clash with World No. 1 Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in another mixed doubles last four competitions.

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