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Nozomi Okuhara, Kento Momota book spots in title matches at BWF World Tour Finals


Nozomi Okuhara advanced to the women’s singles title match of badminton’s BWF World Tour Finals with a straight-games victory over compatriot Akane Yamaguchi on Saturday.

In the men’s draw, world No. 1 Kento Momota also moved on to the singles final with a convincing win over South Korea’s Son Wan-ho.

World No. 5 Okuhara outdueled defending champion and world No. 2 Yamaguchi 21-17, 21-14 in a 46-minute semifinal at Tianhe Gymnasium.

Awaiting Okuhara in Sunday’s final is India’s P.V. Sindhu, who advanced by beating Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon 21-16, 25-23.

The 23-year-old Okuhara topped Sindhu to become world champion in 2017. She also defeated the world No. 6 from India in the final of the Thailand Open in July.

Momota, who was crowned world champion in August in Nanjing, China, took 52 minutes to defeat sixth-ranked Won 21-14, 21-12.

He will face China’s Shi Yuqi in the final, in a rematch of the world championship decider.

Themixed doubles pairing of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino lost to China’s Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping 21-9, 19-21, 21-13, while the women’s doubles team of Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara also bowed out, falling to South Korea’s Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan 21-13, 21-13.