World No.1 Kento Momota conquered Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2021 opening round 21-12 21-16 today.
It took the popular Japanese shuttler 44 minutes to dispense the home favourite in an empty arena.
“There weren’t any supporters so it felt a bit lonely but I’m glad I could win,” Momota said.
The two-time world champion showed he was slowly regaining his old form, looking confident on court and punishing his experienced opponent with powerful rallies from the start.
“I believed I could win and now I’m a little tired but I’m okay. I’m feeling really good,” the VICTOR Denmark Open 2021 finalist, who has had a below-par year, added.
Getting used to court conditions at the Bali International Convention Centre, Momota looked to be ‘testing the waters’ at the start of the second game, allowing Sugiarto an 8-3 lead before surging ahead.
“There was drift on both sides and I was just trying to adapt to it. I wasn’t trying anything new,” revealed Momota.
Momota’s popularity extends beyond the badminton court, with the 27-year-old receiving an abundance of presents from fans at the Westin Hotel.
“I’m very happy to receive so many gifts. Indonesian fans are very generous and very nice to me. I would like to thank them for their gifts,” the shuttler affectionately known as King Kento added.
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