Kashyap falls to top-ranked Momota in Korea Open semifinals

The Indian put on a spirited fight but lost the game 21-13, 21-15 to the reigning World Champion.

Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap could not continue his fine form at the 2019 Korea Open as he fell to World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the semifinals.

The 25-year-old defeated the Indian 21-13, 21-15 to march on to yet another final for this badminton season.

A spirited fight

Despite a spirited fight from Kashyap, the top-ranked Japanese always had the game in his control, never letting go of the lead in the first game. The Indian matched Momota’s defensive approach for most part of the first game; trying to pick gaps on the badminton court through delicate drop shots and precise slices.

The reigning World champion though read his opponent’s plans and attacked Kashyap with a few jumping smashes to take a 10-7 lead in the first half of the first game.

The second half continued in similar fashion, with Momota augmenting his ascendency on the court. The Indian threatened to make a comeback though as he picked up three points on the trot to take the score to 18-13, but that ended up in vain as Momota found his rhythm again to clinch the first game 21-13.

A changed approach

In the second game, Kashyap tried to play more on the offensive as the frequency of smashes increased significantly. Momota though countered him with some aggressive badminton of his own, connecting with all of Kashyap’s leaping smashes to pull away with the scoreline. 

Just like the first game though, the Indian wasn’t planning on throwing in the towel easily, as he picked up five points in quick succession to leave the score at 11-7 in favour of the Japanese. With the points gap shortened, Kashyap sniffed a comeback in the contest as he managed to get the score to 12 apiece with some perfectly timed smash shots. 

Momota though kept his cool and justified his lofty ranking with some sensational gameplay, forcing Kashyap into errors as he picked up six points on the trot. From there, it was just a matter of time before the Japanese made it to yet another final in 2019; and he did so in some style with a perfectly weighted shot to the back court that outfoxed Kashyap. 

Momota will now play in the final on Sunday (29 September) against defending champion and World No. 2 Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei.

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