Danisa Denmark Open: It's Tai Tzu Ying vs Nozomi Okuhara, Kento Momota vs Chen Long

As Tai Tzu Ying and Nozomi Okuhara try to end their title drought, Kento Momota seeks to extend his domination on finals day of Denmark Open.

Kento Momota
Momota will Chen Long in the final of Denmark Open 2019 Reuters

A tournament full of great action and some brilliant performances will draw to a close on Sunday, October 20. The BWF World Tour Super 750 Denmark Open has seen everything – upsets, fightbacks, close contests and other things expected from a big ticket event like it.

On the final day, it would be Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying, back to her world no. 1 ranking, who will take on Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. The Taiwanese player, who seemed unbeatable in 2018, has had a disappointing time in the last 12 months. She hasn't won a World Tour title since Singapore Open in April this year and also lost at the quarterfinal stage in World Championships.

Interestingly, in the final of Singapore Open, she had faced the same opponent, Okuhara, and had emerged victorious. But the Japanese girl also has had problems of her own and hasn't won a World Tour title this year. She too has suffered from lack of form and was overtaken by her compatriot Akane Yamaguchi in terms of success, of late.

But on Saturday, Okuhara managed to get the better of Spain's Carolina Marin in a long 3-game match. Marin had looked vulnerable even in her quarterfinal match against South Korea's AN Se Young. However, in the last game of that match, the 17-year old Korean talent seemed exhausted towards the end and allowed Marin to escape with a win. Okuhara, known for her tenacity and perseverance, did not.

Tai Tzu Ying
Tai is back at no. 1 position in world rankings Reuters

Tai had a much easier ride. She won the first game but didn't need to win any more as her opponent, Chen Yu Fei of China, the All England Champion, had to retire. With a point to prove, Tai is going to give it her best shot on Sunday. It will require all the fortitude of Okuhara, the 2017 World Champion, to stop her.

On the men's side, the title clash will involve the World Champion Kento Momota against the current Olympic Champion Chen Long. The latter broke many hearts by defeating local favourite Viktor Axelsen in a close 3-game match. Momota, on the other hand, was in his usual, smooth-sailing mode and needed just two games to put away Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto.

Axelsen, the 2017 World Champion won the first game and was leading till the late stages of the last one. Unfortunately for him, Chen, who has been very ordinary in the last couple of years, found enough energy to overcome the boisterous support of the home crowd and win the match.

Unfortunately for the gold medalist from Rio, his head-to-head record against Momota is quite poor. Furthermore, in recent times, he has seemed completely clueless, when facing the 2-time World Champion. It would be a minor upset if he wins on Sunday.

This article was first published on October 20, 2019