Sports

Kento Momota defends China Open crown for 10th title of 2019

Kento Momota won his 10th title of a remarkable year as Japan’s world number one defeated Chou Tien-chen to retain his Fuzhou China Open crown on Sunday. Home hope Chen Yufei similarly successfully defended the women’s title with a gritty victory over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.

Reigning two-time world champion Momota battled past Taiwan’s world number two Chou 21-15, 17-21, 21-18 in a repeat of last year’s final.

The 29-year-old Chou is in the unusual position of not having a coach and instead relies on his longtime physio to guide him courtside during matches.

Chou saved one match point but handed Momota the title by hitting into the net. The Japanese player fell onto his back and screamed in celebration, his fists clenched.

The peerless Momota, 25, has had another hugely successful year, his haul of titles in 2019 including another world crown and the prestigious All England Open.

The women’s final was a similarly gruelling affair and likewise went to three games.

China’s Chen lost the first game 21-9 to Okuhara but recovered to lift the Fuzhou title for the second year in a row by winning the next two 21-12, 21-18.

It was more disappointment for Okuhara, who has now lost all six finals she has contested this year.

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