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No. 1 Kento Momota defends Fuzhou crown for 10th title of 2019

AFP-JIJI

Kento Momota won the 10th title of his remarkable year as the world No. 1 defeated Chou Tien-chen to retain his Fuzhou China Open crown on Sunday.

China’s Chen Yufei successfully defended the women’s title with a gritty victory over Nozomi Okuhara.

Reigning two-time world champion Momota battled past Taiwan’s Chou, the world No. 2, 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 includes another world championship and the prestigious All England Open.

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

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.