S. Kisona advanced to the second round of the Yonex Thailand Open after her opponent, Saina Nehwal, tested positive for COVID-19 and conceded a walkover as organisers were hit with a slew of infected shuttlers.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed four shuttlers tested positive for the virus after the third round of mandatory testing was conducted on Monday.
Saina and men’s singles shuttler H.S. Prannoy tested positive, along with another two from Germany and Egypt.
World number 20 Saina was confused at being asked to concede a walkover, just as she was about to warm up for her match against Kisona.
“I still didn’t receive the COVID-19 test report from yesterday [Monday] and it’s very confusing. Before the warm-up match they told me to go to the hospital in Bangkok which said I am positive. According to the rules, the report should come in five hours,” she lamented on her Twitter account.
The BWF issued a statement stating one Indian player remained positive and would be in isolation for 10 days at the hospital.
Kisona next faces Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the second round.
The Malaysian contingent fared rather well in the opening day of the tournament.
The men’s doubles event saw Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin oust South Koreans Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol 21-16, 19-21, 21-11 in a contest which lasted an hour to book a meeting with Danish pair Mathias Christiansen-Niclas Nohr in the second round.
Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, meanwhile, defeated the higher ranked Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 21-7, 21-19, facing either Russians Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov or Ben Lane-Sean Vendy next.
In the mixed doubles event, top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai were made to work hard before slogging to a 18-21, 21-16, 21-15 victory over Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See.
The BWF announced that several matches declared walkovers, including Kisona's game against Saina, would resume on Wednesday.