Momota caps stellar year with 11th badminton title
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Shanghai (AFP) –
World number one Kento Momota fought back from a game down to win his 11th badminton title of the year on Sunday with victory at the BWF World Tour Finals.
The peerless Japanese player 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.
Momota surpasses the 10 tournaments won by recently retired Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei in 2010.
"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 the speedy Ginting and the Japanese fell 12-5 down in the deciding third game to the world number eight.
However, the reigning two-time world champion surged back.
Ginting was trailing 17-14 when he 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 will replace Tai as world number one in the latest rankings.
© 2019 AFP