Kento Momota felt stronger than ever after winning his fifth All-Japan Championships men’s singles title ahead of the Malaysia Open (January 10-15).
The Japanese capped a sweet ending to 2022 with that solitary title, also marking his first title since winning the Indonesia Masters in 2021.
More importantly, the world number 18 would arrive in Kuala Lumpur in a confident mood to do well in the tournament that he reached the final last year.
Momota beat Kenta Nishimoto 21-11, 21-16 in a showcase of confident badminton for the All-Japan title.
“I wanted to win this really badly. I know some people are commenting online that Momota’s era is over, but I have no intention of quitting. I want to show them that Momota is stronger than ever,” he said.
Prior to this domestic event, Momota had not featured since August when he crashed out in the first round on home soil at the Japan Open.
His best result on the World Tour in 2022 came at the Malaysia Open in June, where he made the final before being comprehensively outclassed by Viktor Axelsen.
Being inactive for several months also saw his world ranking take a dive behind Kenta Nishimoto and rising star Kodai Naraoka.
Momota is also unseeded at the Malaysia Open, and could face Axelsen in the second round if he manages to pass his first test against Frenchman Toma Junior Popov.