Momota’s form sets up Axelsen’s Malaysia Open showdown
The Malaysia Open final was Japan’s Kento Momota’s first final appearance of the year, when he beat Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn in straight sets on Saturday.
Viktor Axelsen, the world number one, overcame Jonatan Christie, the second seed, 21–15, 20–22, 21–11, to reach the final on Sunday.
An important step forward for Momota’s career had been set back by a car accident more than two years prior that cut short his chances of winning the final Malaysia Open when the epidemic shuts down play in 2020.
Momota, the defending champion, stepped out to a thunderous welcome from the Kuala Lumpur crowd, and he wasted no time in making an impression on Kunlavut, who was unable to keep up.
With pinpoint smashes and razor-sharp net play, Momota defeated the Thai player 21–11, 21–12 in 42 minutes.
He added, “I just tried not to make any mistakes and maneuver the shuttle as much as possible toward my opponent’s side,” following his victory.