Kento Momota won his 10th title of a remarkable year as Japan’s world number one defeated Chou Tien-Chen to retain his Fuzhou China Open crown on Sunday.
Home hope Chen Yufei similarly successfully defended the women’s title with a gritty victory over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.
Reigning two-time world champion Momota battled past Taiwan’s world number two Chou 21-15, 17-21, 21-18 in a repeat of last year’s final.
The 29-year-old Chou is in the unusual position of not having a coach and instead relies on his longtime physio to guide him courtside during matches.
Chou saved one match point but handed Momota the title by hitting into the net. The Japanese player fell onto his back and screamed in celebration, his fists clenched.
The peerless Momota, 25, has had another hugely successful year, his haul of titles in 2019 including another world crown and the prestigious All England Open.
The women’s final was a similarly gruelling affair and likewise went to three games.
China’s Chen lost the first game 21-9 to Okuhara but recovered to lift the Fuzhou title for the second year in a row by winning the next two 21-12, 21-18.
It was more disappointment for Okuhara, who has now lost all six finals she has contested this year.
There was more agony in store for Japanese shuttlers, as Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda were defeated in the men’s doubles final by Indonesian pair of Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo in straight games with a scoreline of 21-17, 21-19.
However, earlier in the day, the only positive news for Japanese badminton came in the women’s doubles final where Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota beat South Korean opponents So Hee Lee and Seung Chan Shin 21-17, 21-15 to win the title.
The mixed doubles final was an all-Chinese affair with second-seeded pair of Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping getting the better of Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong.