After breaking Lee Chong Wei’s record of 10 titles in a calendar year with 11 titles of his own, Kento Momota expressed that he is happy to break the Malaysian legend’s record, but remains humble in his achievement.
Momota said, “I won the year-end tournament. 11 titles in one year is more than Lee Chong Wei’s record. But I’m far below his level. I will get to that level one day and I will do more special trainings.”
He first came into prominence in the international scene in 2014 during the Thomas Cup. His playing style was compared to a younger Lin Dan. The year 2019 saw Kento Momota ascend to the stairs of greatness.
Lee Chong Wei has a win rate of 84.08%. This is the highest win rate in all of men’s singles (post 2009, only top 25 ranks considered). Lee won 713 matches and lost 135 matches in his career. Such numbers will be hard to beat in any event in badminton, and even harder in men’s singles.
Out of the 135 losses for Lee, 30.37% of these loses are to Lin Dan and Chen Long.
Lin Dan has played 794 matches and counting. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, five-time world champion and has numerous accolades to his name. He has won every major title there is to win. His career of 665 wins and 128 loses gives him a 83.85% win-loss record.
This is paramount statistics in lieu of the Legend’s recent performances.
What can be noted from Lin Dan’s statistics is that 28.90% of his losses come from 2018 and 2019 only.
This means that Lin Dan’s win rate prior to 2018 is nothing short of astounding. He turned 36 this year.
Both Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei have win rates of more than 83% in their careers that span over 15 years. This is what that makes them stand out above the rest.
Kento Momota stands in third place with 80.88%. Reigning Olympic Champion Chen Long comes behind Momota with 79.59%. His compatriot Shi Yu Qi stands at 73.97%.
With Lee Chong Wei retiring in June 2019, and Lin Dan making early exits in tournaments, everyone wanted to know who the next big thing in the sport is. There are many big names in the game at the moment. Chen Long, Viktor Axelsen, Chou Tien Chen and Anthony Ginting can be mentioned.
What sets Momota apart is his dominance on court, which is shown by his staggering statistics of 91.78% win rate in 2019. Momota played 73 matches this year, out of which he lost only 6.
Coming back to the question of Momota being in the same ranks as Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, the answer is not yet.
Momota has a big test coming in July 2020. If he wins gold at Tokyo then the conversation will shift in his favour. But as it stands today, he still has a lot to prove to be considered on par with the Legends. He has age on his side. Perhaps he can achieve like the two giants of badminton.