World Champion Kento Momota continued his winning run in BWF World Tour Finals 2019 being played in Guangzhou, China and set up a semi-final date against dark horse Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei. The other semi-final would see Olympic Champion Chen Long facing Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting for a place in the final.
Momota, who had to battle a little harder yesterday against Anders Antonsen of Denmark, didn't have too much difficulty in putting away Asian Games Champion Jonatan Christie 21-14, 21-14. His opponent on Saturday, Wang Tzu Wei, is a surprise entrant into the last four as he was the least fancied player.
Wang actually lost his final group stage match to Anders Antonsen to make it two losses out of three in group round matches. But his victory over Jonatan Christie was enough to put him in second position in group standings. This was so because all three players in the group, apart from Momota, ended up with one victory and two losses.
This meant that the qualification came down to the number of games won. At the start of the match, Wang knew that all he needed to qualify was winning only one game in the match. He did that and despite losing, went through.
In the other group, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting recovered from a loss in his first group game, on Wednesday, to make his entry into the last-4. The Indonesian's cause was helped by the retirement of Viktor Axelsen midway through the first game of their match.
Chen Long, who started brilliantly but lost to Ginting on the second day of the event, recovered to defeat Chou Tien Chen in straight games 21-15, 21-19. This meant a heartbreaking result for Chou as he failed to make it to the next round despite winning the first two matches of his campaign. The withdrawal of Axelsen proved very costly for the Taiwanese player.
So, the stage is set for the semi-finals on Saturday. Momota should ease his way into the final as he had defeated Wang easily on day 1. The competence of the World Champion had seemed too much for his opponent.
The other semi would be very interesting as Chen Long and Anthony Ginting are both capable of coming up with sublime performances on their day. Chen Long showed great form in his victory over Viktor Axelsen while Ginting has been impressive throughout and only lost his first match by a small margin. It's hard to predict a winner in this contest.