Taipei-Taiwanese badminton ace Chou Tien-chen (???) failed to defend his championship title Sunday, losing to world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the men's singles final in the Korea Open 2019.
Chou, the world No. 2 and defending champion of the 2018 men's singles title, lost the match in two closely contested games, 19-21 and 17-21, in the tournament held in Incheon, South Korea.
Chou rallied back to tie the game three times after Momota took an early 11-6 advantage in the first mid-game interval. After a 19-19 tie, the Japanese player scored twice to clinch the first game.
The score remained tight in the second game when the Taiwanese ace managed to close the gap 17-19 before losing it.
The loss marks Chou's sixth consecutive defeat to Momota. Chou has only won twice in 12 career matchups against the Japanese shuttler.
Still, Chou has had a great 2019 so far, winning three singles titles in Indonesia, Thailand and Taipei and advancing to the Korea Open final two years in a row.
The Korea Open 2019, a BWF Super 500 event, opened Tuesday at Incheon Airport Skydome and ran until Sunday. The tournament carries a total purse of US$400,000.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel