Kento Momota breaks Lee Chong Wei's record with 11th title of the year
World No. 1 Kento Momota fought back from a game down to win his 11th badminton title of the year yesterday with victory at the BWF World Tour Finals.
The peerless Japanese shuttler defeated Indonesia's Anthony Ginting 17-21, 21-17, 21-14 in 87 high-quality minutes in the final at the season-ending showpiece in Guangzhou.
In the process, Momota surpassed the 2010 record of 10 tournaments won by the recently retired Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei.
"At this World Tour Finals, I played carefully from the first match partly with the aim of winning an 11th title," the 25-year-old Momota said.
"Even in tough games, I did not give up."
Momota was pushed all the way by world No. 8 Ginting and the Japanese trailed 12-5 in the deciding third game.
However, the reigning two-time world champion fought back and led 17-14, when Ginting called the doctor on court for treatment on his right foot.
The fading Indonesian continued, but Momota rammed home his advantage to seal a stellar season in style.
The 23-year-old Ginting has now tasted defeat in all five of his finals this year.
"He led (in the deciding game) but I was patient," said Momota, who was banned for a year in 2016 for illegal gambling.
"And then I got to know that he was suffering pain, so all I needed to do was stay calm."
In the women's final, China's Chen Yufei also roared back from a game down to defeat Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying 12-21, 21-12, 21-17.
Chen, 21, will replace Tai, 25, as world No. 1 in the latest rankings, becoming the first top-ranked women's singles shuttler from China after Li Xuerui in 2015.
Chen had lost 14 of her previous 15 clashes with Tai.
I'm very excited," said Chen. "I didn't think much about my 1-14 record against her, I had to focus on the task today."
China also won two doubles titles, with world No. 1s Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong defeating compatriots Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping 21-14, 21-14 in the mixed doubles.
Then in the women's doubles, another top-ranked pair Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan beat Japan's Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara 21-14, 21-10 in the women's doubles.
But Indonesian pair Hendra Satiawan and Mohammad Ahsan claimed the men's doubles by overcoming Japan's Yuta Watanabe and Hiroyuki Endo 24-22, 21-19. - AFP