It’s Not Easy Being The Best

The HSBC BWF World Tour rolls into Paris this week for the YONEX French Open 2019.

For the likes of Kento Momota and Indonesia’s men’s doubles pair, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, it’s another chance to notch another title.

Such is their winning ways at the moment it’s hard to imagine them getting beaten.

Sure, they’re not infallible, but there’s certainly an expectation that hangs over their heads.

It begs the question; how do they keep on going? Do they stop to celebrate? Will they let the ball slip?

For Momota, it was a team dinner, a nice juicy steak and then an early bus ride and flight from Copenhagen to Paris.

His convincing 21-14 21-12 win over Chen Long in yesterday’s final of the DANISA Denmark Open 2019 put to rest.

“It’s really difficult to keep winning in this very tight schedule,” said Momota post-match.

“But at the moment I feel I am in the best condition to do my best.

“Winning doesn’t only come from my effort, but also from my Japanese team and my supporters.”

It’s good to know he keeps it real.

Momota has won nine titles in 2019. That includes the Asia Championships and World Championships, and an ominous streak that now reads four titles from his last four tournaments entered.

The rest of the men’s singles field is struggling to find answers.

The equally impressive Minions followed the same schedule. They arrived in Paris mid-afternoon on Monday.

It’s been a regular case of déjà vu for them – a relatively easy passage through the early rounds of a tournament en route to a final against their teammates, training partners and friends, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan. It’s a match-up they dominate. Yesterday’s score read 21-14 21-13 in 28 minutes.

The Minions and Daddies, as they are known, have now met in five finals in 2019 with Gideon and Sukamuljo prevailing in all. Add two other victories against other opposition and their season tally reads a healthy seven.

As has been well documented, the Daddies have not defeated Gideon and Sukamuljo since February 2018. Based on Sunday’s effort in Odense, that may not change for a while.

But when it’s all done and dusted, and the quartet leaves the arena, they then share a post-final meal together, pack their suitcases and head onto the next stop of the HSBC BWF World Tour to do it all again.

Same result, different week.

It’s certainly a unique relationship.

Momota, the Minions and the Daddies are again favoured to be there on Sunday in Paris.

We should be in awe that they can continue to perform week after week.

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