World No. 1 Kento Momota bounced back from a shocking first round loss at the Malaysia Masters last week to book his berth in the final of the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2019 – a Super 500 tournament currently going in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The top seeded Momota put up a nearly flawless performance to completely outplay the sixth seeded Viktor Axelsen 21-15, 21-4 in a blockbuster battle between the current and the former World No. 1 men’s singles shuttlers.
The Dane absolutely doesn’t enjoy this rivalry and that is evident from their head-to-head record. The Japanese southpaw has a whopping 9-1 advantage and has won eight matches in a row. It was no different when their semi-final clash at the Indonesia Masters started.
Momota was off to 3-0 lead as soon as the match started. Axelsen settled into the match after that and brought forth his barrage of smashes which rattled the top seed a bit. But Momota soon got back into the groove again. With his lefty down-the-line smashes doing most of the damage, he wrested control of the proceedings once more.
From 5-4, he went up to 11-7 and kept steadily adding points to his kitty. Axelsen tried to halt his momentum with a few dropshots to make it a two-point gap at 15-17. But Momota’s lefty shots once again kept finding the lines and the Dane could only watch his opponent clinch the first game.
Axelsen had no answer in the face of the Momota onslaught and soon found himself lagging behind 3-11 at the time of the mid-game break in the second game. With Axelsen looking more and more subdued, Momota simply grew in confidence even further.
The Danish star could only add just one more point the rest of the game before the Japanese World No. 1 wrapped it up to advance to the Indonesia Masters final.