Taiwanese badminton ace Chou Tien-chen (???) was defeated in the semifinal of the men's singles at the Indonesia Masters by World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in Bali on Saturday.
The world No. 4 and fourth-seeded Chou fell to first-seeded Momota 21-19, 21-11 in 46 minutes on the resort island, where the tournament is taking place in a bubble without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. Momota also extended his head-to-head record with Chou to 13-2.
In the opening game, Momota edged to a four-point lead of 11-7 at the interval before Chou made a comeback to level the score at 17-17 by pocketing six of the last eight points. Momota then found game point opportunity at 20-19, winning the game when Chou hit a shot wide.
The Japanese player was more aggressive in the second game and raced to an 11-4 lead at the mid-game interval. Chou struggled to get back into position following Momota's shots to the back of the court, which enabled him to feed off the pace.
Outstanding net play from Momota's forehand side further widened the score to 17-8 and he later secured a match point opportunity at 20-10, with Chou saving the first point but conceding the second.
Momota next faces the winner of the game between third-seeded Anders Antonsen of Denmark and unseeded Kidambi Srikanth of India in the final on Sunday.
The Super 750 Indonesia Masters, held Nov. 16-21, has a purse of US$600,000 and is the first stop in the three-tournament "Indonesia Badminton Festival 2021."
The festival also includes the US$850,000 Super 1000 Indonesia Open, which will be held Nov. 23-28, and finishes with the US$1.5 million BWF World Tour Finals starting Dec. 1.
The 2019 Indonesia Open Super-1000 champion, Chou is looking to pick up his first title of the year before the season wraps up, after finishing runner-up at the French Open in October.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel