Japanese Kento Momota and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon both looked competent in a tournament, where some big names made early exits. Therefore, it was only appropriate that the two ended up as men and women’s singles champions of 2016 Yonex-Sunrise India Open that concluded in New Delhi on Sunday. Momota’s few moments of bother came in the first round, when he dropped a game against England’s Rajiv Ouseph and in the semifinal; he trailed 17-21, 3-6 against China’s Xue Song before the Chinese retired. Other than that, Momota played powerfully against all his opponents and brushed aside the title game challenge from Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen. Ratchnok Intanon also maintained consistency through the week and like Momota lost just one game against Taiwan’s no.8 seed Tai Tzu Ying in semifinal. Against former world no.1 Li Xuerui, Intanon played flawlessly, giving the Chinese no chance whatsoever. In other finals on Sunday, men’s doubles title went to Indonesians Sukamuljo/Fernaldi, who thrashed their compatriots Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi; women’s doubles was won by Japan’s no.3 seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, who defeated compatriots Kurumi Yonao and Naoko Fukuman while the only title going to the Chinese was mixed doubles, where Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong won their maiden Super-series by beating the Indonesian pair of Riky Widianto/Puspita Richi Dili.
Japan’s Kento Momota was seeded no.2 in the tournament after Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei. Since Lee had fallen in the second round, Momota justified his seeding by beating Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in the final. From the very start, the Dane lapsed into errors against the Japanese. He misjudged the tossed up shuttle a few times and even erred in his service. That made it easier for Momota, who kept his cool and played a neat game. Momota didn’t allow Axelsen to settle down anytime in the 45-minute encounter and wrapped up the match 21-15, 21-18. The only time Axelsen showed something in his game was in saving three match points, after Momota was 20-15 in the second game.
In women’s singles final, Thailand’s 2013 India Open champion Ratchanok Intanon continued with her stellar performance over the week as she faced another former India Open champion Li Xuerui of China. The Chinese seemed surprisingly off color against Intanon after her hard-fought semifinal victory over India’s Saina Nehwal on Saturday. On the other side, Intanon’s game was packed with precision and power. Li found it difficult to counter Intanon’s dazzling array of perfectly placed shots and lost 17-21, 18-21 in just 42 minutes.
Men’s doubles final was an all-Indonesian affair but the pairs looked ill-matched. Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Gideon Markus Fernaldi were too good for their countrymen Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi. In the 30-minute final, Sukamuljo/Fernaldi produced a masterly performance and outclassed Pratama/Suwardi 21-17, 21-13. Women’s doubles crown was won by the Japanese pair of Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, who defeated compatriots Kurumi Yonao/Naoko Fukuman 21-18, 21-18. Matsutomo/Takahashi thus successfully defended their 2015 India Open title but the victory didn’t come on a platter as Yonao/Fukuman kept fighting until the end in a match that lasted 57 minutes. The mixed doubles was the only title that went China’s way at Delhi. The 7th seeded Chinese pair of Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong played against Indonesia’s Riky Widianto/Puspita Richi Dili. But the talented Chinese proved too good for the Indonesians and emerged title winners with a 21-13, 21-16 victory in 40 minutes.
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