Momota Kento ran out of steam as badminton’s Japanese former world No. 1 succumbed in two games to Shi Yu Qi in the Kumamoto Masters Japan 2023 quarter-finals on Friday (17 November).
After plugging in 85 minutes in the first round against Loh Kean Yew and 101 minutes in the second vs Rasmus Gemke a day earlier, Momota’s tank finally dried up, going down 21-17, 21-12 to fourth seed Shi.
Momota also had to qualify for the main draw, playing twice on Tuesday.
He did well to save three game points in the first game but in the second, it was all Shi who never trailed before lowering the dagger on his second match point.
Shi next faces Chou Tien Chen in his semi-final.
Momota, nevertheless, was upbeat despite defeat. He was coming off winning his first title on the BWF tour in two years last week at the Korean Masters.
“The past two weeks have been really tough but rewarding at the same time,” said the 29-year-old two-time world champion.
“Right now, I’m having fun playing badminton. I hope to improve even more and compete in front of everyone again.
“Sure, there’s some frustration but I already know what I need and want to work on in practice and I can’t wait to get started. I also want to sleep a lot, too.”
The remaining semi-final will pit top-seeded Victor Axelsen and the other Japanese qualifier in the field, Obayashi Takuma. Axelsen knocked off Jonatan Christie in three games to advance to the last four.
In the women’s singles, No. 1 An Se-young takes on Chen Yufei in a rematch of the Asian Games final while Beiwen Zhang contests Gregoria Mariska Tunjung for a place in the final.
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