Badminton: Momota and other Japanese aces dominate Indonesia Masters semi-finals

DENPASAR, INDONESIA (AFP) – The world top’s men’s singles shuttler Kento Momota knocked out Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-chen on Saturday (Nov 20), tightening Japan’s stranglehold ahead of the finals of the Indonesia Masters.

Momota and Chou had a close semi-final in Bali, but the No. 1 badminton player claimed a 21-19, 21-11 victory.

Momota, now the favourite to win the men’s singles trophy, will meet Danish Anders Antonsen in the final on Sunday.

The Japanese team top the Indonesia Masters, the first tournament in Asia for 10 months, with four tickets to the finals out of five titles.

They also dominated the Denmark Open and French Open earlier this year, winning three titles respectively.

The Indonesia Masters is one of three back-to-back tournaments, culminating in the season-ending World Tour Finals, that are taking place in Bali without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s top women’s seed Akane Yamaguchi also powered into the final after she beat Indian two-time Olympic medallist Pusarla Venkata Sindhu 21-13, 21-9.

“Pusarla had strong power and aggressive attacks but I managed to put pressure on her and make her frustrated at her own game,” said Akane, who will meet South Korea’s An Se-young in the final.

Japan has also booked a seat in the finals of both the men’s and women’s doubles.

Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi overcame Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik 21-18, 19-21, 21-17. They will meet Indonesian top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.

Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida beat Thailand’s Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 22-24, 21-17, 21-18 and will play Koreans Jeong Na-eun and Kim Hye-jeong.

Japan missed out on the mixed doubles final, after Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino lost to Tang Chung Man and Tse Ying Suet 18-21, 21-19, 21-17. The Hong Kongers will face top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the final.

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