Taking on world champion a big stepping stone for Kisona

Good exposure: Malaysia’s S. Kisona says playing against reigning world champion P. V. Sindhu will be an invaluable lesson.

PETALING JAYA: First it’s her idol Saina Nehwal and now, it’s another Indian star P. V. Sindhu.

S. Kisona admitted that though she faces another daunting task, she will be relishing every chance to square up against the world’s top players in these two weeks in Bangkok.

The world No. 92 earned her right to face the reigning world champion after outplaying Doha Hany of Egypt 21-10,21-7 in the first round of the Toyota Thailand Open yesterday.

“I’m looking forward to taking on a world champion, ” said Kisona, the 2019 Philippines SEA Games gold medallist.

“It gives me a great opportunity to gauge how much catching up I need to do with the world’s best.

“It’s going to be tough for me to overcome her but I would like to try to give her a good fight.

“Regardless of the outcome, a chance to compete with a world champion itself is a big stepping stone for me.

Kisona also revealed that she enjoyed the experience of battling with former world No. 1 Saina despite losing 15-21,15-21 in the first round of the Yonex Thailand Open last week.

Kisona was initially handed a walkover after Saina tested positive for Covid-19.

But in an unexpected twist of events, the Thai health authorities declared Saina did not contract the virus which saw the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rescheduling the match.

“I wasn’t upset at all, ” Kisona stressed.

“I took the (decision by BWF) very positively. Although I lost, I think I still gained a lot in the end.

“For lowly ranked players like me who’s limited to playing mostly International Challenge and International Series events, I yearn for the opportunity to play in top-tier tournaments like these.

“You can only get better by competing against top shuttlers.”

Kisona headed to Bangkok as a sparring partner to senior Soniia Cheah.

But thanks to a spate of late withdrawals, Kisona was among the lucky players in the reserve list who got promoted to the main draw.

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