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China Open 2018: As it happened - PV Sindhu vs Saena Kawakami First Round

It's a 21-15, 21-13 win for PV Sindhu and she is through to the second round.
Updated: 18 September 2018 11:14 IST - Published: 18 September 2018 10:15 IST
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But don't go anywhere! 

Stay tuned to Sportskeeda as we'll bring you live updates from Saina Nehwal's first round match.

It is scheduled to start not before 11.45am IST.
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That wasn't supposed to be a tough challenge for Sindhu and it was definitely a fine start for the Indian.

Except for a couple of junctures of the match, Sindhu was mostly in control of the proceedings.

That will give her bucket loads of confidence for the rounds will get tougher very soon.
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Sindhu needed only 26 minutes to get the win.
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And Sindhu has completed the win!

It's a 21-15, 21-13 win for PV Sindhu and she is through to the second round.
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Kawakami saves one.
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And she has match points too!

20-12
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It's all Sindhu now!

She is up 18-12
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And this time, Sindhu doesn't make a mistake!

She doesn't let go of the lead and makes it 16-12
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It's 14-11 to Sindhu now.

Some great attacking play from the Indian there!
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It's suddenly a very competitive game post-interval.

Sindhu has a one-point advantage only, at 12-11
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It's 11-9 to Sindhu at the midgame interval after Kawakami fought back impressively.
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Sindhu up 10-8 now
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But Kawakami is fighting back.

Trails 7-9 now
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It's 8-5 for the Indian now.

Still has a three-point lead.
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The Japanese takes three points but Sindhu still has a healthy lead.

Up 7-4
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4 quick points for the Indian and she has raced ahead to 6-1 
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Sindhu picks up from where she left!

Has opened up a 2-0 lead in the second game.
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Finally, Sindhu converts a game point and takes the first game 21-15.
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The Japanese shows some resilience and saves three game points.
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A host of game points for Sindhu at 20-12
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But Sindhu can't afford to relax here.

Kawakami takes three points on the trot now to reduce the difference to just six points.

Sindhu 18-12
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Three quick points for the Indian now.

18-9
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15-9 to Sindhu now
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Kawakami took one point but Sindhu grabs another to make it 14-8
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Two more points for the Indian and it is 13-7 to Sindhu now.
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Sindhu accelerated from thereon and grabbed the next four points to have an 11-7 lead at the midgame interval.
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Sindhu went up to 7-5 but a determined Kawakami fights back yet again!

It's 7-7
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An aggressive Sindhu takes a couple of points and surges to 6-4
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They continue to be evenly poised.

4-4
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Kawakami went up to 3-2 but Sindhu has levelled it at 3-3
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And the match has started!

Sindhu takes a 2-1 lead.
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However, a major concern is Sindhu's fitness. As we all saw at the Japan Open last week, she was really struggling after the hectic schedule that saw her reach back-to-back finals at the World Championship and the Asian Games. It took a toll on her physically and Sindhu was hardly the player she used to be. In Tokyo, she crashed out in Round 2 because of those exertions.

It would be interesting if she has managed to recover from it after a few days of rest. Sindhu has a relatively easy draw until the quarters. If she doesn't have any fatigue, she can definitely make it through to the quarters at least.
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Good morning and welcome to the Sportskeeda live coverage of PV Sindhu's first round match at the China Open 2018. She is the third seed at this Super 1000 tournament and is definitely one of the title favourites.

By ranking, she is the favourite in this first round match against Kawakami and is expected to easily go through to the second round.