Home2022The Podium Awaits Momota's Return

The Podium Awaits Momota’s Return

The dream final is happening in the men’s singles category of the Malaysia Open 2022. The first seed, Viktor Axelsen from Denmark will face the second seed, Kento Momota from Japan. In the semifinals held yesterday, Viktor Axelsen defeated Indonesian representative Jonatan Christie, in a rubber game 21-15, 20-22, 21-11. The match took 1 hour and 11 minutes. This victory adds one more point for Axelsen, making his head-to-head record 6-2 over Jonatan Christie. 

Meanwhile, Kento Momota won easily 21-11, 21-12 over Kunlavut Vitidsarn from Thailand. This meeting in Malaysia is the second time for them. Previously, Kento Momota won over Kunlavut Vitidsarn, a three-time world junior champion, in the Round of 32 during the 2019 Korea Open 21-17, 21-13. For the Japanese badminton player, who was formerly the world’s #1, the final at the Malaysia Open will be the first for him in 2022. Out of four tournaments that Momota played this year, the German Open, Badminton Asia Championships, Thailand Open, and Indonesia Open, he lost in the first round.

Judging from their meeting records, Kento Momota has the upper hand over Victor Axelsen to win the championship title at the Malaysia Open 2022. Momota won 14 times in 17 meetings by far. However, in their last meeting at the Denmark Open 2021, Kento Momota lost 22-20, 18-21, 12-21.

The meeting between the first and second seeds at the 2022 Malaysia Open also takes place in the mixed doubles. Thai first seed Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai beat Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping, the fourth seed from China with three games 23-21, 19-21, 21-14. This match became the longest in the semifinals because it took 1 hour and 14 minutes. This result makes Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai bring down their defeat to seven times in 15 meetings. In the final, Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai will meet second seed Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong. The Chinese pair won over the Danish doubles Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje 21-18, 21-8. Even though the second seed, Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong is favored to be the champion. In the last meeting at the Thailand Open 2022 last May, they won 21-12, 18-21, 21-14 over the Thai pair.

While in the other three numbers, the first and second seeds were eliminated in the previous round. Even the first seed such as Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo withdrew due to injury. The final in the men's doubles took place between second seed Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi from Japan and sixth seed Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto from Indonesia. In the semifinals, Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi defeated Malaysia's fifth seed Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, 23-21, 21-9. The result that made Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi grow their victory list over Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik to 5-2.

The meeting between Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi and Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto will be interesting. This is due to the fact that the two pairs have a 2-2 draw record. The last meeting occurred in the final of the Thailand Open 2022. When Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi won when the position was still 13-4 in the first game. The match was discontinued because Fajar Alfian was injured. At the Malaysia Open 2022, FajarAlfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto qualified for the final after defeating the other host pair, Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin, in two straight games, 21-14, 21-12.

For Indonesia, Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto is not the only team that has successfully moved forward to the final. The country also placed a new pair in the women's doubles Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti. In the semifinals, they won two straight games 21-14, 22-20 over Korean representatives Jeong Ne-eun/Kim Hye-jeong. The first meeting of the two pairs took 44 minutes. The final at the Malaysia Open 2022 was the third final for Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia after previously playing at the final round of Indonesia Masters 2022 and SEA Games 2022. Unfortunately, during the Indonesia Masters, Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia lost to Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan from China. The defeat was avenged at the Malaysia Open 2022 by defeating Chen/Jia in the quarter-finals.

In the Malaysia Open 2022 final, Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti will play against another Chinese representative, Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu, who in the semifinals defeated fifth seed Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara from Japan 11-21, 21-19, 21-17. This victory avenged Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu's defeat to the Japanese pair in the semifinals of the Thailand Open last May. Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu and Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia met in the last Round of 16 of the Indonesia Open 2022. As a result, Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia won 16-21, 21-16, 21-18.

Besides Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu in the women's doubles and Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong in the mixed doubles, China also passed Chen Yu Fei in the women's singles final. Chen Yu Fei, the fourth seed, defeated the second seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in a rubber set 19-21, 21-13, 21-15 which lasted 1 hour 8 minutes. This match is a repeat of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics final and was won by Chen Yu Fei also with three games 21-18, 19-21, 21-18. This victory in the semifinals of the Malaysia Open 2022 was Chen’s fifth victory in 22 meetings with Tai Tzu Ying.

Chen Yu Fei's path to becoming the Malaysia Open 2022 champion is wide open. Her opponent is Ratchanok Intanon from Thailand whom Chen had defeated 15 times in 17 meetings. The last time Chen defeated Intanon was in the final of the Indonesia Open on June 12, 2022, 21-16, 18-21, 21-15. At the Malaysia Open, Ratchanok Intanon qualified for the final after an easy win over another Chinese representative, Wang Zhi Yi.



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