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January 18, 2019

Badminton: Momota claims second title in Indonesia Open final

Badminton: Momota claims second title in Indonesia Open final
'Kento Momota has won his second Indonesia Open title' - By: AFP ADEK BERRY

Japanese shuttler Kento Momota claimed his second Indonesia Open badminton title Sunday after defeating first-seeded Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the tournament's men's singles final.

The 23-year-old started the men's singles match with a convincing lead 11-1 to the first game's interval before closing the match 21-14 and 21-9 after several unforced errors by the Dane.

Momota won bronze in the 2015 Indonesia Open but was slapped with a 12-month ban by the Japan Badminton Association the following year after being caught gambling in an illegal casino.

This is Momota's biggest title since his 2017 comeback.

“This victory means so much to me ahead of the World Championship and Asian Games,” he told journalists after the match.

World number one Axelsen praised Momota's performance and said his opponent deserved the victory.

In the women’s singles, first seed Tai Tzu Ying claimed her second tournament victory after beating China’s Chen Yufei 21-23, 21-15 and 21-9.

Despite her win, the Taiwanese said she was unsatisfied with her performance and played too hastily in the opening game.

“After losing the first game, I told myself that I really need to win this match. I am glad that the crowds are behind me,” she said.

Tai first won her first Indonesian Open title in 2016 as an unseeded player.

Chen said she was pleased with her tournament performance after stunning big names such as Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and Korean Sung Ji-hyun in her road to the finals.

Second seed Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota of Japan bagged the women's doubles title after beating compatriots Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara 21-14, 16-21 and 21-14.

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