11/16/2018 1:06:52 PM

Momota enters Hong Kong semis

Momota enters Hong Kong semis

Hong Kong, China: Top-ranked Kento Momota knocked out Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie to reach the Hong Kong Open semi-finals on Friday after being stretched to three games for the third match in a row.

The reigning world champion found extra reserves of strength for his 22-24, 21-9, 21-9 win over Indonesia's Christie, who fell away after winning a close first game.

"I want to play for the spectators," said Japan's Momota, who beat Chinese great Lin Dan in the first round and also went the distance with countryman Kanta Tsuneyama on Thursday.

"I can't show a cool performance. My play is not spectacular, but I want to show my hard-working attitude."

The Japanese star started slowly before igniting his challenge by winning a lightning-quick rally at the net, clawing back within three points of Cristie at 17-20.

Momota won four of the next five points before conceding the game, but the Indonesian's confidence was shaken.

Christie quickly fell behind in the second game after some misjudged taps into the net, before overcompensating on his forehand and sending several shots wide.

The top seed was well on top by the time the second game was over, and he wrapped up the decider in 15 minutes. 

"Since (Christie) looked exhausted, I focused on my footwork," he told reporters.

Momota will next face sixth seed Son Wan-ho, who beat fellow South Korean Lee Dong-keun 21-16, 21-14. 

World number eight He Bingjiao became the final Chinese player to crash out of the women's singles after retiring in the second game against Sung Ji-hyun, who beat India's P.V. Sindhu on Thursday.

In the women's doubles, seventh-ranked Koreans Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-Chan turned the tables on Thai duo Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, fending off a late-match fightback to progress 13-21, 21-17, 21-18.

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