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French Open 2016: PV Sindhu staves off a late surge from Yip Pui Yin to enter second round

PV Sindhu overcomes a marathon second game to go through to the second round.

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu had to fight out a tough battle to get to the second round

The opening day of main draw action at the French Open Superseries in Paris has so far proved to be favourable for the Indian contingent. On Wednesday, both the Indians who have played their first round matches so far, have emerged victorious. While sixth-seeded PV Sindhu staved off a mighty challenge from Yip Pui Yin towards the end for a 21-19, 29-27 win, HS Prannoy defeated the World No. 29 Boonsak Ponsana, 21-16, 21-18.

The Rio Olympic silver medallist Sindhu really needs a good result at this Parisian tournament after her campaign at the Denmark Open Superseries Premier was halted in the second round by the lower-ranked Sayaka Sato of Japan. The draw too has opened up for the 21-year-old with the top two seeds – the Olympic champion Carolina Marin and the former world champion Ratchanok Intanon withdrawing.

Sindhu could not have asked for a better opponent to start with. Yip Pui Yin was coming to this tournament on the back of three consecutive opening-round defeats and also had a 0-1 losing head-to-record against the Indian.

It was thus no surprise when the double World Championships bronze medallist raced through the first game 21-9 with some tremendous show of aggression. From 6-6, she jumped to 11-7 at the mid-game interval. The post-break part of the game was totally in Sindhu’s grip as she bagged 10 out of 12 points to take the opener.

The second game was far more competitive and a lot more dramatic as both gave their all. Sindhu had the early lead but Yin made a good comeback to level, 12-12. It continued to be hard-fought with Yin grabbing a slender lead and Sindhu playing catch-up all the time until 19-19 where the drama reached its peak.

With none ready to concede ground, the competition continued in the dying stages of the game. Sindhu saved three game points while the Hong Kong shuttler saved as many as five match points before the Indian finally converted on her sixth match point for the victory in 45 minutes.

Later in the day, Ajay Jayaram and B Sai Praneeth too will be in action.

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