Kazutaka Yoshikawa expressed concerns about Momota’s movement and his overall physical state after watching him play against Anthony Ginting (INA) in the final of the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals on December 15.

Yoshikawa, 69, was Kento Momota’s badminton coach when he was in elementary school.

Yoshikawa noticed that Kento Momota did not run as much in the second game. “It was very tired movement, I have rarely seen this before,” Tokyo Sports quoted Yoshikawa.

After the match, he reportedly sent a LINE message to Momota expressing his concern.

“Momota should reduce his participation in tournaments, such as the upcoming domestic league from 20 December. If he gets injured, he will need to rest for at least one month, and this will affect his physical status,” added Yoshikawa.

Does Momota really need some rest?

Here is the list of top 10 ranked men’s singles players along with the number of matches they played in 2019.

1Kento Momota7367
2Chou Tien Chen6751
3Chen Long5739
4Anders Antonsen5943
5Viktor Axelsen5541
6Jonatan Christie6243
7Anthony Sinisuka Ginting6038
8Shi Yuqi3928
9Ng Ka Long Angus4828
10Kanta Tsuneyama4627

Kento Momota played a mind staggering 73 matches in 2019, winning 67 of them (excluding domestic tournaments). Chou Tien Chen, with 67 matches played, is the only other athlete who comes close to Momota.

In comparison, Roger Federer has played 63 matches in 2019. And Cristiano Ronaldo played 43 matches in 2018-19 season.

Without doubt, Momota would have accumulated a lot of physical fatigue from his continuous participation in tournaments. It would be a huge blow for the world no. 1 if he suffers a major injury in the Olympic year.

On the bright side, Kento Momota has already booked his qualifying spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It is impossible for any other Japanese player to overtake him in the Olympic Qualifying standings even if Momota does not win a single match next year.

He stands at the top with 101,568 in the standings. He is far ahead of Chou Tien Chen who is at second with 80,178 points. This would give Momota the opportunity to rest more and amp up his physical condition in the months leading up to the Olympic Games, if needed.