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Nadal wins his 200th career Grand Slam match

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

4:05 p.m.

Novak Djokovic is now the seventh man with at least 50 match wins in the French Open.

Next on his agenda: joining the other six on that list with a title at Roland Garros.

Trying to complete a career Grand Slam, the top-seeded Djokovic moved into the third round by beating 161st-ranked qualifier Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday, overcoming 42 unforced errors on a windy afternoon.

That improved Djokovic’s career record in the clay-court tournament to 50-11. He’s made it to the final three times in the past four years but lost each time.

The other men with 50 victories at the French Open – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi and Nicola Pietrangeli – all won the championship at some point.

3:10 p.m.

Eugenie Bouchard attributes her early exit from the French Open more to her mind than her tennis.

After her 6-4, 6-4 second-round loss to Timea Bacsinszky, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist says “tennis is 90 percent mental” and that “the brain is like a muscle” that needs workouts.

The 47th-ranked Canadian says her mentality used to be “my amazing strength” and that “I feel like I’ve not used that as much in the past year or so,” during which the 22-year-old Canadian’s ranking has slipped.

2:50 p.m.

Once Rafael Nadal got past the briefest of slow starts, he was just fine, easily collecting the 200th Grand Slam match victory of his career.

Nadal fell behind 2-0 against 99th-ranked Facundo Bagnis of Argentina, then cleaned up his act and took 14 of the next 15 games Thursday en route to winning 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 in the second round of the French Open.

Nadal has won 200 of 230 matches in majors, a winning percentage of .870. Only seven other men have earned that many victories at Grand Slam tournaments; Roger Federer holds the record of 302.

The fourth-seeded Nadal owns 14 Grand Slam titles – tied with Pete Sampras for second-most behind Federer’s 17 – including a record nine at Roland Garros.

2:10 p.m.

Ana Ivanovic has reached the third round of the French Open for the 10th time, beating Kurumi Nara 7-5, 6-1.

Ivanovic, who won the title at Roland Garros in 2008, is seeded No. 14 this year.

Also, 28th-seeded Andrea Petkovic was eliminated, losing to Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-2.

1:50 p.m.

Malek Jaziri has failed in his bid to become the first Tunisian man in 53 years to reach the third round of the French Open.

Jaziri lost to seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-1, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist and French Open semifinalist, says he was “really pushed and I was able to come back and win.”

The last Tunisian to reach the third round at Roland Garros was Mustafa Belkhodjia in 1963.

1:20 p.m.

With a victory over Marcos Baghdatis in the second round French Open, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga would become only the third Frenchman with 100 wins in Grand Slam tournaments.

The others were Jean Borotra, with 103, and Henri Cochet, with 102.

Footage from The Associated Press archives – dated exactly 84 years ago – of Borotra playing Fred Perry shows how dramatically tennis has changed.

12:50 p.m.

Eighth-seeded Timea Bacsinszky, a French Open semifinalist last year, advanced to the third round at Roland Garros by beating Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-4.

Bacsinszky was broken in her first service game, but the 2014 Wimbledon finalist couldn’t hold the lead. The Swiss broke back in the seventh game, broke Bouchard again with a backhand winner for a 5-4 lead, and served out the first set.

Trailing 5-0 in the second set and with Bacsinszky serving for the win, Bouchard got back into the match, saving a match point and earning two break points that would have leveled the score at 5-5 but she failed to convert.

After making the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2014, Bouchard lost in the first round last year. From a career-high year-end ranking of seventh, the 22-year-old Canadian slipped out of the top 40 in 2015 and struggled with an eating disorder she says she has since conquered.

11:35 a.m.

Rafael Nadal can win his 200th Grand Slam match on Thursday if he beats Facundo Bagnis of Argentina in the second round of the French Open.

Nadal, a record nine-time champion at Roland Garros, would become the eighth man in history to win 200 matches at major tournaments. The man with the most wins is Roger Federer, who has 302 over his career but is missing from this year’s French Open because of injury.

Novak Djokovic, the current top-ranked player, can win his 50th match at Roland Garros by defeating qualifier Steve Darcis of Belgium. But the milestone that really matters to Djokovic is winning his first French Open, the only Grand Slam he hasn’t won .

Del Potro beats Dimitrov to win Stockholm Open

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STOCKHOLM (AP) Juan Martin del Potro won his 20th career title Sunday, beating Grigor Dimitrov in a successful title defense at the Stockholm Open.

Del Potro held serve throughout as he won 6-4, 6-2 against Dimitrov while also landing 70 percent of first serves and firing in nine aces.

It was the Argentine’s first title since he beat Jack Sock in last year’s Stockholm final. The two Stockholm wins are del Potro’s only tour titles since he returned in 2016 following chronic wrist problems.

For Dimitrov, it was his fourth final of the year and first defeat. The Bulgarian is now 7-6 in career finals,

Venus ready for return WTA Finals

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SINGAPORE (AP) Venus Williams returns to the year-end WTA Finals for the first time since reaching the 2009 final, and the fifth time overall, starting on Sunday in Singapore.

Williams joins top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania, second-ranked Garbine Muguruza of Spain, third-ranked Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic, fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, sixth-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, seventh-ranked Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and ninth-ranked Caroline Garcia of France.

They’re all pretty special,” said Williams, of her career appearances in the year-end competition. “It’s the end of the year. Only Top 8 get here. It’s definitely something well earned.”

At 37-years-old, Williams is the third oldest player to qualify for the year-end championships behind a 39-year-old Billie Jean King in 1983, and a 38-year-old Martina Navratilova in 1994.

Williams is the oldest player in this draw with 27-year-old Wozniacki the next oldest.

Having played since 1995, Williams has seen the women’s game advance, saying: “The competition is so much greater. It’s a beautiful change, in fact.”

In 2008, Williams won the WTA Finals title, going 3-0 in the round-robin, and defeating Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the final.

She was also was a semifinalist in her first two appearances in the finals, in 1999 and 2000.

Williams reached two Grand Slam finals this season at the Australian Open, where she lost to what turned out to be an already pregnant younger sister, Serena, and at Wimbledon, where she fell to Muguruza.

Every player but Garcia has a possibility of playing themselves into the year-end No. 1 ranking depending on their result this week. Williams has ranked No. 1 for 11 weeks of her career.

In the round-robin, Williams is situated in the White Group with fellow big-hitters Muguruza and Pliskova, who both ranked No. 1 at some time during this season, and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Williams opens the competition against Pliskova on Sunday. The two are tied at one match apiece in their head-to-head.

She holds a 3-2 winning record over Muguruza and is 1-0 over Ostapenko.

“I think my group is more aggressive style players in the group and the other one is more defending,” Pliskova said. “I just like to play better these players.

“I start with Venus tomorrow, so I beat her once from match point and once I lost very close match. This one is open.”