Teenage Sensations Shine in 1st Round of Malaysia Open
- 16 January 2014
2012 world junior champion, 19-year-old Kento Momota of Japan, defeated former junior champion Viktor Axelsen by 12-21 24-22 21-18 in the first round of the Malaysia Open. 2013 YONEX OPEN JAPAN winner and 2013 world junior champion, 16-year-old Akane Yamaguchi, clinched a win in a tough match against 2013 world champion Ratchanok Intanon (ARC-FB,SHBF1NLX), with 21-18 23-25 21-16.
After losing the first game by 12-21, Kento upped the ante, resulting in a nail-biting second game. From 17-all, Kento turned into a wall, refusing all attacks, taking the game at 24-22. In a too-close-for-comfort decider, Kento managed to maintain concentration, emerging from the match victorious at 12-21 24-22 21-18 in 76 minutes. He will face No. 6 seed Boonsak Ponsana in the second round.
In her first game against world No. 3 Ratchanok, Akane played aggressively, to take it with 21-18. Ratchanok took her game up a notch, winning the second game by 25-23. Akane, however, was unshaken, giving her opponent a hard time in the final game, and taking the match. The final score was 21-18 23-25 21-16. She will go on to play against her fellow Japanese shuttler, Minatsu Mitani.
Tournament Results: 1st Round
Kento Momota (JPN) def. Viktor Axelsen (DEN) 12-21 24-22 21-18
Hiroyuki Endo /Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) def. MOhd Zakry Abdul Latif/Mohd Faruzizuan Mohd Tazari (MAS) 21-6 21-7
Ayaka Takahashi /Misaki Matsutomo (JPN) def. Jung Kyung Eun/Shin Seung Chan (KOR) 21-15 21-18
Yamaguchi's image is from 2013 YONEX OPEN JAPAN.