Badminton: World No. 1 Momota closes on 11th title of the year

SHANGHAI (AFP) – Kento Momota eased into the semi-finals of the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals on Friday (Dec 13) as the peerless Japanese goes after an 11th title of the year.

The world No. 1 swatted aside Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 21-14, 21-14 for his third victory on the bounce in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The 25-year-old is having a spectacular 2019, his run of tournament wins includes the world championships, and will be clear favourite against Taiwan’s 19th-ranked Wang Tzu-wei.

Also into Saturday’s last four is the reigning Olympic champion and home hope Chen Long, who faces Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia.

Former No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark bowed out after retiring from his match against Ginting complaining of a strained right hamstring muscle and pain in his groin.

In the women’s draw, world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan sealed her place in the semi-finals after defeating Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-14, 21-9.

“I made some mistakes in my first match that I shouldn’t have so I tried to reduce my errors today,” said Tai, who plays Nozomi Okuhara of Japan next.

“I had a fall yesterday and was a little hurt but I recovered well for today.

“I won the Dubai season-ending tournament twice (2014 and 2016), I liked the trophy.

“I hope I can win here as well because I like this trophy too.”

The other women’s semi-final is between China’s Chen Yufei and another Japanese, Akane Yamaguchi.

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