Kumamoto Masters: Qualifier Obayashi Stuns Antonsen

Qualifier Takuma Obayashi created a sensation at the Kumamoto Masters Japan 2023 beating world No.10 Anders Antonsen to enter the semifinals.

This is the Obayashi’s best performance at this level in only his second event on the HSBC BWF World Tour. The world No.37, had won three lower-rung tournaments this year – the Vietnam International Challenge, the Saipan International and the BNI Indonesia Masters II (Super 100).

The 24-year-old started strongly in his quarterfinal, but after Antonsen stormed back to take the second game, it looked like the Dane had found his rhythm. As the third game wore on Obayashi gave nothing away, while Antonsen couldn’t keep his consistency and he went down 21-12 10-21 21-12 to the Japanese, who will take on top seed Viktor Axelsen in the semifinals.

Kento Momota and Shi Yu Qi

Obayashi’s unexpected victory salvaged the day in men’s singles for home fans after Kento Momota ran out of steam. The former No.1, who’d won the Korea Masters on Sunday and beat Loh Kean Yew and Rasmus Gemke on his way to the quarterfinals, faced familiar rival Shi Yu Qi and couldn’t quite come up with his ‘A’ game. Shi dominated for the most part, running away with a 21-17 21-12 result.


In women’s singles, fourth seed Tai Tzu Ying’s campaign game to an abrupt halt as she retired with what appeared to be a foot injury in the third game against Beiwen Zhang.

In the top half, a battle of Olympic champions saw Chen Yu Fei rout an unusually subdued Carolina Marin 21-12 21-9; Chen will next take on world champion An Se Young.

In women’s doubles, Rena Miyaura/Ayako Sakuramoto beat Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan to make the semifinals against Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu.


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