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Murray rallies into 3rd round at French Open

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PARIS (AP) The Latest on the French Open (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Andy Murray rallied past French wild-card entry Mathias Bourgue to reach the third round of the French Open, winning 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The second-seeded Murray made the most of Bourgue’s drop of energy to claw his way back into the match and set up a contest with big-serving Ivo Karlovic in the next round.

After playing superb tennis to lead 2-1 in sets on Court Philippe Chatrier, the 22-year-old Bourgue ran out of gas while Murray limited his mistakes to 10 unforced errors in the last two sets.

4:40 p.m.

Andy Murray needs to win a second consecutive five-set match to continue his run at the French Open.

The second-seeded Briton is trailing 2-1 in sets against French wild-card entry Mathias Bourgue, who is showing his vast array of shots on Court Philippe Chatrier with some superb drop shots and volleys.

The 22-year-old Bourgue is making his Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros.

Murray advanced to the second round after rallying from two sets down against qualifier Radek Stepanek.

4:20 p.m.

When it comes to hitting aces, big-serving Ivo Karlovic has no rival.

At 37, the lanky Croatian player proved it again to drag himself out of a tough battle with Jordan Thompson and become the oldest male player to reach the third round at a Grand Slam since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 U.S. Open. Connors was 39 when he progressed to the semifinals at Flushing Meadows that year.

The 27th-seeded Karlovic produced 41 aces in his 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 12-10 win over the Australian wild-card entry, including three in the final game.

3:10 p.m.

There still were some hiccups for Stan Wawrinka in the second round of the French Open. All in all, though, things went a lot more smoothly than in his opening match.

After needing to come back and win in five sets to barely avoid becoming the first defending champion in tournament history to lose in the first round, Wawrinka moved into the third with a 7-6 (7), 6-3, 6-4 victory over 93rd-ranked Taro Daniel of Japan on Wednesday.

In the tiebreaker, the third-seeded Wawrinka found himself facing two set points while trailing 6-4. But he erased both of those and eventually pulled out the set, then quickly went up a break in the second and was on his way.

Wawrinka said his play against Daniel had “many ups and downs,” but that he’s “ready to step it up.”

Wawrinka compiled a 62-21 advantage in winners and will now face No. 30 Jeremy Chardy of France for a spot in the round of 16.

2:45 p.m.

Teenager Alexander Zverev has completed his first career win in the main draw of the French Open.

The 19-year-old German, who is regarded as one of the most talented youngsters on the circuit, advanced to the second round of the clay-court Grand Slam with a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (6), 7-5 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Their match was suspended at the start of the fourth set on Tuesday because of darkness.

The 41st-ranked Zverev is playing for the second time at the Roland Garros after losing in the qualifying stages last year. He will be up against another Frenchman, Stephane Robert, in the second round.

2:00 p.m.

Fourth-seeded Garbine Muguruza is through to the third round of the French Open, beating wild-card entry Myrtille Georges 6-2, 6-0.

A two-time quarterfinalist in Paris, the 2015 finalist at Wimbledon says “I really want to win here.”

1:30 p.m.

Fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori advanced to the second round at the French Open by beating Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Nishikori, a U.S. Open finalist in 2014, reached the quarterfinals in Paris last year.

There was also a second-round win for a Japanese player in the women’s draw, with Naomi Osaka beating Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 6-3.

12:45 p.m.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 2009 French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2014 finalist Simona Halep have all advanced to the third round at Roland Garros.

The 10th-seeded Kvitova beat Hsieh Su-Wei 6-4, 6-1. Kvitova, who reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2012, looked more comfortable than in her first-round match.

Kvitova says “I’m feeling good. I’m healthy, and that’s important.”

The sixth-seeded Halep had to rally from 4-1 down in the first set to beat Zarina Diyas 7-6 (5), 6-2, while Kuznetsova defeated Heather Watson 6-1, 6-3.

12:30 p.m.

Tightened security measures at the French Open, with multiple pat-downs and bag checks, are making getting into Roland Garros a bit of a chore.

There were long lines on Wednesday morning as spectators waited – mostly patiently – to be cleared for entry into the smallest of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

Extra precautions introduced following deadly attacks in Paris in November include an initial pat-down, bag check and scan with a metal detector before reaching Roland Garros, followed by another more thorough search at the gates.

Security has also been stepped up for soccer’s European Championship in 10 French cities starting next month.

12:00 p.m.

The French Open is finally basking under blue skies after three opening days of damp, cold weather.

Those already out on court Wednesday include fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori, former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2014 finalist Simona Halep.

Halep is on Court Philippe Chatrier against Zarina Diyas. On Court 2, Kuznetsova is facing Heather Watson, while Nishikori is playing Andrey Kuznetsov Court 1.

Nadal beats Dimitrov, one win from record 31st Masters title

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MONACO (AP) Rafael Nadal remains on course for a record 31st Masters title after beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-1 in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals on Saturday.

The top-ranked Spaniard never looked in trouble as he beat the fourth-seeded Bulgarian for the 11th time in 12 career meetings.

If Nadal wins Sunday’s final, he will earn a 76th career title and also keep his No. 1 ranking. Should he lose, Roger Federer will reclaim the top spot.

Nadal faces either third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany or Kei Nishikori of Japan, who play later Saturday.

In the opening game, Dimitrov came out firing. He pressured Nadal with two superb lobs, forcing a backhand smash wide from the Spaniard for deuce. But Nadal held a tight first game lasting eight minutes, and then broke Dimitrov for 2-0.

Dimitrov found his range, broke Nadal back and held for 3-3. The next two games were even, with Dimitrov matching Nadal in the rallies.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion held for 5-4 and then Dimitrov cracked, serving consecutive double faults and hitting a wild forehand long to trail 15-40. He saved one set point but Nadal was in ruthless mode and took the next chance.

It appeared that Nadal was gaining his usual momentum on clay – and two consecutive love breaks and three easy holds made it 5-0 to the Spaniard in the second set.

Dimitrov explained his collapse this way.

“I think I played smart against him. I kind of know his pattern a little bit better,” Dimitrov said. “But it was my fault when I got broken. Simple as that. Two double-faults, it’s just definitely not acceptable, especially when you play against him on that surface.”

Dimitrov finally held, drawing polite applause, but Nadal served out the match with ease. He clinched victory on his first match point when Dimitrov patted the ball wide following a brief exchange.

“You see me with a smile. I’m a positive person,” Dimitrov said. “Deep down, I’m hurt. I hate losing. Simple as that.”

Nadal shares the Masters record with Novak Djokovic, whose 30 wins include two here.

Nadal’s victory at Monte Carlo last year made him the first men’s tennis player in the Open era to win the same title 10 times. He then won a 10th title at Barcelona and the French Open.

 

Fed Cup: Stephens to open for US against France in semis

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AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (AP) U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens will open play for the U.S. against Pauline Parmentier of France in the Fed Cup semifinals.

France No. 1 Kristina Mladenovic and CoCo Vandeweghe will follow on Saturday in the second singles at the new 6,700-capacity Arena Pays d’Aix. France has opted for an indoor clay court.

Mladenovic and Amandine Hesse are set to face Madison Keys and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the doubles on Sunday following the reverse singles.

France and the United States meet for a 14th time, with the Americans holding an 11-2 winning record. The French won their most recent meeting, in 2014.

Both teams are missing their highest-ranked player: No. 8 Venus Williams for the U.S., and No. 7 Caroline Garcia for France.

Germany is facing the Czech Republic in the other semifinal in Stuttgart.