The action in men's singles division of BWF World Tour Finals being played in Guangzhou, China got off to an interesting start. World Champion Kento Momota was his usual dominant self while Olympic Champion Chen Long also showed great form.
Asian Games Champion Jonatan Christie recorded an impressive win while Chou Tien Chen won the other match of the day against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
Kento Momota was in full flow right from the beginning of his match against the lest fancied competitor in the division Wang Tzu Wei. Momota, who usually plays long rallies decided to try out his best shots against the Taiwanese and waltzed through to a comfortable 21-10, 21-9 victory. Clearly Wang didn't have the quality to trouble the World Champion.
Olympic Champion Chen Long, whose form coming into the tournament wasn't very good, also, much to the delight of home fans, hit his stride straightaway. He was playing those delightful strokes which made him a top player in the past.
Though his opponent, 2017 World Champion Viktor Axelsen fought his way back to win the second game and remained neck-and-neck in the third for a long time, the Chinese favourite was able to press the accelerator towards the end to seal the match 21-17, 10-21, 21-17.
The match between Chou Tien Chen and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting turned out to be a very curious one. The talented Indonesian picked up an early lead as his opponent looked lackluster. Towards the end of the first game, it seemed Chou wanted to conserve his energy and allowed the game to go Ginting's way.
But the Taiwanese fought back and picked up a big lead in the second game as some errors started to creep into Ginting's game. The latter then used the same strategy as Chou and let the game go to conserve his energy for the decider.
The third game was a very close affair as both shuttlers went toe-to-toe with each other. Again, Ginting committed errors at crucial stages in the game which allowed the Chinese Taipei player to get ahead and have a 19-16 lead. But Ginting showed both his quality and fighting spirit to get back level and then save the match point when Chou Tien Chen earned it.
Then followed an amazing pattern of play where the Taiwanese shuttler kept getting match points only for Ginting to save them. The end was anti-climactic. At 24-23 and match point for Chou, the Indonesian returned the serve into the net to let his opponent win the match 11-21, 21-15, 25-23.
The match between Jonatan Christie and Anders Antonsen was hard to call but the Asian Games gold medal winner came out on top in straight games. The first game required extra points but the second game was wrapped up easily by the other Indonesian in the fray to win the contest 23-21, 21-16.