India Open : Kento Momota oust in opener; Carolina Marin prevails in women’s singles
New Delhi : Former world no 1 Kento Momota had a disappointing start to 2023 season as the Japanese shuttler lost in the first round of the India Open Super 750 here on Tuesday. Two-time former world champion lost 15-21, 11-21 to Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke, whom he had beaten in five out of six past meetings.
Momota, who captured a record 11 titles in 2019, had a forgettable campaign last year as he lost in the first round of a tournament five times, and in the second round twice and didn’t win a single trophy last season.
Coming off a victory at last month’s Japanese national championships, Momota had missed the season opener Malaysia Open Super 1000 last week, due to flu. In women’s singles, Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin outplayed Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-13, 21-18.
The Spaniard had an injury setback and is on the trail to find her best form. Marin will be up against former world champion from Thailand Ratchanok Intanon, who trounced her Malaysian counterpart Goh Jin Wei 21-13, in the round-of-16.
The Bulgarian duo of Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva too registered an easy 21-16, 21-10 win over their English opponents Cloe Birch & and Lauren Smith in the women’s doubles opening round match.
The Stoeva sisters await the winner of the match between Jongkolphan Kititharakul & Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand and Debora Jilli & Cheryl Seinen of France, in the second round.
Later in the day, India top men shuttler HS Prannoy and defending champion Lakshya Sen will cross swords to set up a second-round clash with Gemke.