BUKIT JALIL: Kento Momota, as expected, defeated former world champion Viktor Axelsen to win the season-opening Malaysia Masters at Axiata Arena here on Sunday.
The World No 1 Japanese star endured anxious moments in the first game as the Dane clawed his way back and even held game point before securing a 24-22, 21-11 victory in 54 minutes.
The win is a huge boost for Momota ahead of upcoming tournaments this year.
Momota, regarded as among the most complete shuttlers in the modern game, is the strong favourite to win the men's singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Men's singles: Kento Momota (Jpn) bt Viktor Axelsen (Den) 24-22, 21-11;
Doubles: Kim Gi Jung-Lee Yong Dae (Kor) bt Li Jun Hui-Liu Yu Chen (Chn) 21-14, 21-16;
Women's singles: Chen Yu Fei (Chn) bt Tai Tzu Ying (Tai) 21-17, 21-10;
Doubles: Li Wen Mei-Zheng Yu (Chn) bt Du Yue-Li Yin Hui (Chn) 21-19, 16-21, 21-19;
Mixed doubles: Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong (Chn) bt Wang Yi Lyu-Huang Dong Ping 21-19, 21-12.