Kento Momota became the first Japanese man to win a Superseries badminton singles title when he beat Hong Kong’s Hu Yun in a thrilling Singapore Open final on Sunday.
Playing his first final in the elite series, the world number 10 saved his best for last when he reeled off six consecutive points to seal it 21-17, 16-21, 21-15.
“The margin was really close and Hu Yun was really good offensively,” said Momota.
“I was running around and trying to keep patient, patient and that was the key to winning this match.”
The women’s final was even closer as China’s Sun Yu saved three match points against Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan for what was also her maiden Superseries win.
Sun shrieked with joy and threw herself on the floor in celebration after she strung together five straight points in the third game to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
“I’m overjoyed. I came to Singapore last year and it was the first time I got into the semi-finals but lost eventually,” said the 21-year-old, who won it 21-13, 19-21, 22-20.
“Now it’s my second time and I won the championship, so Singapore must be a lucky place for me.”
In the mixed doubles, there was a whiff of controversy as Chinese top seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei profited from a walkover from their compatriots Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong.
A statement said Lu had aggravated a knee injury. In 2011 in Singapore, Chinese star Lin Dan was loudly booed for pulling out of the men’s final against countryman Chen Jin.
Lu and Huang’s withdrawal was posted on the electronic scoreboard but was not announced to the crowd.
But Zhang, playing in the men’s doubles final later with Fu Haifeng, was unable to capitalise on the extra rest as they lost 21-15, 11-21, 21-14 to unseeded Indonesians Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi.
In the women’s doubles, China’s Ou Dongni and Yu Xiaohan upset top seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahasi of Japan 21-17, 21-16. – Agence France-Presse