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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.

Serena Williams returning to competition for US Fed Cup team

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) The U.S. Tennis Association says Serena Williams will return to competition for the first time in more than a year at the country’s Fed Cup matches against the Netherlands next month.

Williams has not played an official match since winning the Australian Open in January 2017 for her 23rd Grand Slam singles title. She was pregnant during that tournament and gave birth to a daughter on Sept. 1.

Joining Williams on U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi’s roster announced Tuesday is older sister Venus, a seven-time major champion. The siblings have not played on the Fed Cup team together in three years.

Also on the team: CoCo Vandeweghe, a semifinalist at the Australian Open and U.S. Open last year. A fourth member of the U.S. squad will be announced next week.

The U.S. won last year’s Fed Cup.

The matches against the Netherlands will be held on an indoor hard court in Ashville, North Carolina, on Feb. 10-11.

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Injured Nadal out of Australian Open; Cilic into semifinals

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) An injured and visibly struggling Rafael Nadal retired while trailing in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic.

Top-ranked Nadal fended off five break points in the last game before Cilic broke his serve, then the 16-time major winner went to shake hands with the umpire and his opponent, and angrily hurled his headband into his equipment bag.

No. 6-seeded Cilic advanced to his first semifinal in Australia since 2010 with a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 2-0, retired.

Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, will next play No. 49-ranked Kyle Edmund, who beat No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time.

Nadal limped into a news conference about a half-hour later, still wincing when he stepped up onto a platform. He said he felt muscle pain in his upper right leg in the third set but played through it. In the fourth set, chasing a drop shot, he felt the pain get worse “but didn’t realize how bad.”

“Tough moments -not (for) the first time here,” he said. “I’m a positive person, but today is an opportunity lost to be in a semifinal for a Grand Slam and fight for an important title for me.

“It’s really tough to accept.”

Nadal said he’d have medical scans Wednesday to determine the exact location and extent of the injury, which he could only describe as being high on his right leg but not in the hip.

“Unbelievable performance from both of us and really unfortunate for Rafa,” Cilic said. “He’s such an unbelievable competitor. He always gives his best … it’s very unfortunate for him to finish this way.”

It was only the second time Nadal had retired during a Grand Slam match – the last time was also an Australian Open quarterfinal, in 2010 against Andy Murray.

On Tuesday night, he needed a medical timeout after going down 4-1 in the fourth set for treatment on his leg.

Nadal returned but was clearly bothered by the injury, limping and taking as much time as possible as he tried to stretch between points.

He called the trainer again after losing the fourth set, and lasted only two further games.

Cilic had only previously beaten Nadal once in their six previous matches – in their first match at Beijing in 2009.

Nadal had a delayed start to the season because of an injured right knee, but appeared to be in good form through the first four rounds. He now hasn’t won back-to-back Australian Open quarterfinals since 2008 and ’09, the year he won his only Australian title.

“I worked hard to be here,” said Nadal, who skipped tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane, Australia, while his knee recovered at the start of the season. “We did all the things that we believed were the right things to do.”

His absence also means there’s only one of last year’s singles finalists remaining in the tournament. Roger Federer, who beat Nadal in five sets last year, is playing Tomas Berdych in a quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Serena Williams didn’t defend her title, deciding she hadn’t had enough time to prepare following the birth of her first child last September. Her older sister, Venus Williams, was beaten in the first round.

On top of that, six-time champion Novak Djokovic was upset in the fourth round.

There’ll be a British man in the Australian Open semifinals for the seventh time in nine years, but it won’t be five-time finalist Murray – who skipped the season-opening tournament to have surgery on his hip.

Edmund had never played in a major quarterfinal, had never won five consecutive matches at tour level, had lost both of his previous matches against Dimitrov and had never beaten a top five player.

He checked all those boxes on Rod Laver Arena.

“I am loving it right now, just the way I’m playing,” Edmund said. “My first Grand Slam semifinal. First time I played on one of the biggest courts in the world. To beat a quality of player like Grigor. They’re great feelings. So, yeah, I just try to enjoy it as much as possible.”

After breaking Dimitrov’s serve in the ninth game of the fourth set, Edmund set up match point with an ace. Then he had to wait before a video challenge confirmed that Dimitrov’s last shot – a floating backhand – was out.

“I just held my nerve in that last game and prayed that last ball would be out,” Edmund said. It was out. And so was Dimitrov, who lost a five-set semifinal here last year to Nadal.

“Everything went his way today,” Dimitrov said. “It’s hard to hide a disappointment. It hurts, and so it should.”

Edmund, who had a first-round upset over U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson, is now the center of attention for the tennis-loving British public.

“I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray the last eight years,” he said. “It’s probably the first time I’ve done well on my own, so there’s more attention there. Of course you take it in stride.”

Elise Mertens is facing a similar experience.

Mertens upset fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-0 to extend her winning streak to 10 matches, becoming the first Belgian since Kim Clijsters in 2012 to reach the semifinals here.

Mertens, who trains at Clijsters’ academy, said: “Kim, thanks for watching. I’m trying to be in your footsteps this week.”

In the semis, she’ll play either second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki or Carla Suarez Navarro.