CHINA OPEN 2019 Finals – Momota turns tables on Ginting

There was no title defense for Anthony Ginting at the 2019 China Open as last year’s runner-up Kento Momota bounced back from a game down to win a thrilling final. […]

There was no title defense for Anthony Ginting at the 2019 as last year’s runner-up bounced back from a game down to win a thrilling final.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yves Lacroix / Badmintonphoto (live)

A year ago, Anthony Ginting (pictured right) really seemed to have Kento Momota’s number.  The Japanese star may have just recently become World Champion, but Ginting denied him a medal at the Asian Games.  Then a few weeks later, the Indonesian schooled Momota again, this time for the big payoff at the million-dollar China Open.

Although those wins for Ginting were at very high-profile events, his fortunes since then have waned.  He failed to reach even another semi-final after Changzhou in 2018 and this year, he had reached two finals, the biggest being the Singapore Open Super 500, where Momota chalked up one of 5 wins against his Indonesian adversary in the past 12 months.

On Sunday, Ginting seemed to be in his element playing Momota back in China.  He won a tight first game and stayed close in the second until he had trouble finding the lines late in the second game.

In the decider, Momota maintained his consistency, started to match Ginting in the net exchanges, and anticipated the Indonesian’s smashes and drops, all areas where he had been looking vulnerable earlier in the match.  Although the two-time World Champion surged ahead on several occasions, Ginting kept on closing the gap but the most dangerous was his comeback from 15-19 down to tie it up at 19.

Ginting had constructed a perfect rally that elicited a short lift from Momota but then he smashed wide and allowed the gap to widen back to 4 points.  On the next rally, the Indonesian smashed cross-court and caught the sideline, but as Momota was losing the HawkEye challenge, the defending champion was calling for medical attention to a blister on his right foot.

His wound tended to, Ginting bounced up and snatched the next 3 points to tie the game.  At 19-all, the two men played another thrilling rally that ended with Ginting lifting long and Ginting’s error on the service return on match point brought about an anti-climactic finish to an otherwise amazing match.

Ginting’s loss broke the streak of defending champions in Changzhou.  The afternoon began with a repeat win by two-time World Champions Zheng Siwei / Huang Yaqiong (pictured above).  They beat compatriots Wang/Huang in a final for the third time this year and in the process, they became the first ever to complete a hat-trick of Super 1000s in a single season.

Next up was Carolina Marin.  The Spaniard solidified her comeback by beating Tai Tzu Ying (pictured above) in three games.  It was Tai’s first loss to Marin since Dubai in 2015.  As she will resume her place at the top of the women’s singles rankings, she will be wary of the renewed threat from the European.  Marin now faces the prospect of playing All England champion Chen Yufei in the first round in Korea in a few days.

The last defending champion was a pair of Rio gold medallists.  Unlike Marin, however, Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi could not make it back to the top of the podium.  Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan (pictured left) won in straight games and ensured that only China – and not Indonesia or Japan – would leave Changzhou with 2 titles.

Like China, Indonesia had also come to finals day with one title in the bag.  Mohammad Ahsan was looking even less mobile in the final than he was on Saturday.  Still, both he and Hendra Setiawan (pictured right) displayed incredible racquet skills to win a maximum number of points with minimal on-court movement, although Setiawan seemed to move with the speed and vigour of a much younger version of himself.

The highlight of the men’s doubles final came when the match seemed to be all over. Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (pictured bottom) were leading 19-10 in the decider when their veteran opponents pulled a run of 5 straight points out of their bag of tricks.  The best rally, though, came on what would have been the 6th, had Setiawan’s deceptive cross-court clip not sailed out at the side.  The crowd got a real treat after seeing too many short rallies and being lulled into believing they were watching a cakewalk by the world #1 pair.

Final results
XD:  Zheng Siwei / Huang Yaqiong (CHN) [1] beat Wang Yilyu / Huang Dongping (CHN) [2]  21-17, 13-21, 21-16
WS:  Carolina Marin (ESP) beat Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) [2]  14-21, 21-17, 21-18
MS:  Kento Momota (JPN) [1] beat Anthony Ginting (INA) [7]  19-21, 21-17, 21-19
WD:  Chen Qingchen / Jia Yifan (CHN) [4] beat Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) [2]  21-14, 21-18
MD:  Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) [1] beat Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA) [2]  21-18, 17-21, 21-15

Click here for complete results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @