Outclassed but lesson well learnt for Kisona


S. Kisona

PETALING JAYA: What was supposed to be a dream debut has turned out to be a humbling experience for singles shuttler S. Kisona in the All-England.

The 22-year-old was outclassed 6-21,7-21 by world No. 13 Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in just half an hour at the Arena Birmingham on Wednesday.

On paper, the Thai was the hot favourite but the fans had expected the 2019 SEA Games champion Kisona to give a good fight at least.

Last month, Kisona was also sent packing by India's P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal in Thailand Opens.

These defeats exposed the gulf between Kisona and her world-class opponents.

The world No. 62 Kisona was not shy to admit that the 24-year-old Busanan, who's also the SEA Games champion in 2015, was simply a class above her.

"Busanan played very well, she controlled everything in the court," said Kisona.

"I couldn't keep up with her speed, so it was very hard for me to win point from her.

"I think I have worked hard to play at this level, but I really need to double up my effort because I believe I'm left behind.

"I've gained good experience, I know where I'm lacking. I'll definitely train harder and come back stronger in higher level tournaments like this."

Kisona will now turn her attention to the fifth-tier Orleans Masters in France next week.

She's set for another early exit unless she finds her way to overcome Saina in the opening round.

As expected, Malaysia's challenge in the women's singles ended early in Birmingham with the elimination of world No. 32 Soniia Cheah, who lost 11-21,17-21 to Sindhu.

Soniia has now suffered her second first round defeats in as many starts as an independent player after being sent packing early at the Swiss Open two weeks ago.

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