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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.

Althea Gibson honored at U.S. Open

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NEW YORK — Althea Gibson basked in a ticker-tape parade in New York a decade before Arthur Ashe won the 1968 U.S. Open.

Gibson won 11 majors in three years from 1956-58, including the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles titles. She integrated two sports – tennis and golf – during an era of racial segregation in the United States.

“She’s our Jackie Robinson of tennis,” said Billie Jean King, who at 13 watched Gibson play. “I saw what it meant to be the best.”

One Love Tennis is an athletic and educational program for youth in Wilmington, North Carolina. During a rainy day in 2017, the girls watched the documentary “Althea and Arthur.” They learned Ashe has a stadium named for him at the U.S. Open on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

The mood in the room grew somber afterward, according to program director Lenny Simpson. The girls realized there wasn’t even a “dag-gone hot dog stand” named for Gibson.

Why wasn’t there a monument to the first African American to win a major title (1956 French Open) before winning both the U.S. Nationals (precursor to the U.S. Open) and Wimbledon in 1957-58?

Simpson suggested the girls be part of the solution by writing letters to his friend and then-U.S. Tennis Association President Katrina Adams. King and Adams had been working on the Gibson project for years. King’s advocacy before the U.S. Tennis Association board resulted in a unanimous vote. Adams later read letters to the board from the girls, including Xerra Robinson, to reinforce the importance of a tribute.

“I know she would be proud to see the progress that’s been made with so many women of color leading the pack in professional tennis,” Adams said of Gibson, who died in 2003 at 76. “Her bravery, perseverance and determination paved the way.”

On Monday, the USTA will unveil a statue in her honor at the U.S. Open. The girls and boys of One Love Tennis will attend the ceremony, along with Gibson’s 85-year-old doubles partner, Angela Buxton of Britain.

“It’s about bloody time,” said Buxton, who won the 1956 French and Wimbledon titles with her friend.

More things to know about Gibson, who made the covers of Time and Sports Illustrated and was voted AP Female Athlete of the Year in 1957-58:

EARLY YEARS

Gibson traveled the hard road from Harlem to Wimbledon, but she had a community of support. The oldest of five children, Gibson was born in Silver, South Carolina, before her sharecropper parents relocated to Harlem. At 18, Gibson moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, to live with Dr. Hubert and Celeste Eaton. She honed her tennis and social skills on Dr. Eaton’s court at his home, called “the black country club” because African Americans couldn’t play at public courts or white country clubs.

“Culturally, it was a tough adjustment,” said Simpson, who met his coach and mentor on that court at age 5 when Gibson gave him a racket and called him “champ.” “(In Harlem), she didn’t see the signs of white and colored water fountains and white and colored bathrooms. The prejudice and discrimination certainly was there, but nothing like the Jim Crow days of the South.”

She spent summers in Lynchburg, Virginia, training on the court of Dr. Robert Walter Johnson, who later nurtured Ashe, a winner of five Grand Slam titles. Both were forced to play in segregated tournaments early in their careers. Barred by the precursor of the USTA, Gibson won 10 straight American Tennis Association women’s titles starting in 1947.

After lobbying by the ATA and a withering editorial from four-time champion Alice Marble, Gibson became the first African American to compete in the 1950 U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills on her 23rd birthday. A graduate of Florida A&M, Gibson taught physical education and considered quitting tennis because she couldn’t make a living in the low-paying amateur days. But in 1955, she was tapped by the State Department for a goodwill tennis tour of Asia. That’s how she met Buxton in India.

ALTHEA YEARS

Both were looking for a doubles partner in 1956. Buxton was denied membership at the club in London where she practiced after she listed Jewish for religion on the application. She grew up in England and South Africa and understood Gibson’s struggle.

“No one spoke to her, let alone played with her,” Buxton said by phone from London. “(Her playing style) was like a young man. She wore little shorts, a vest and hit the ball hard, even her second serve. She came charging up to the net. She bamboozled people with her attitude.”

They won at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but the “powers that be” were not thrilled and “you needed a spy glass to see the headline `Minorities Win,”‘ Buxton said. Both were denied membership at the All England Club despite being Wimbledon champions. (Buxton is still waiting).

Nonetheless, Gibson got the royal treatment with a ticker-tape parade in July in New York after receiving the 1957 Wimbledon trophy from Queen Elizabeth II. A month later, she won the U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills.

“That was an incredible joy for her,” Simpson said.

She duplicated those feats and retired from tennis at No. 1 in 1958 – a winner of more than 50 singles and doubles titles – because there was no significant prize money until the professional era began in 1968. The men’s and women’s 2019 U.S. Open winner will each receive a check for $3.8 million.

No other African American woman won the U.S. Open until Serena Williams in 1999 or Wimbledon until Venus Williams in 2000.

AFTER TENNIS

Gibson played exhibition tennis before Harlem Globetrotters games, signing a $100,000 contract, and joined the LPGA full-time in 1964.

In 1975, she became state commissioner of athletics in New Jersey. She served on the state athletics control board, and the governor’s council on physical fitness until 1992.

The twice-divorced Gibson’s health failed in her late 60s after a stroke and she struggled to make ends meet. Buxton said Gibson reached out to a handful of tennis friends without much success. Gibson was on the verge of suicide in 1995 when the tennis great called her, she said. Buxton provided financial support and visited her friend in East Orange, New Jersey.

“Angela Buxton saved her life, literally,” Simpson said.

Buxton also wrote a letter to Tennis Week magazine, and donations flooded in from all over the world. The WTA currently has a hardship fund to help former players.

Frances Gray, a longtime friend and co-founder of the Althea Gibson Foundation, has kept her legacy alive. A self-described “born athlete,” Gibson said she wanted to be remembered as “strong and tough and quick.”

“If not for Althea Gibson, there would be no Arthur Ashe, no Serena and Venus, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and the list goes on,” Simpson said. “She opened it up for all of us.”

Serena vs. Sharapova set for prime time on Day 1 of U.S. Open

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NEW YORK — Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova is, not surprisingly, getting primetime billing at the U.S. Open.

The two tennis stars’ 22nd career meeting – and first at Flushing Meadows – will be the opening act in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the night session on Monday as the year’s last Grand Slam tournament gets started.

“Of course I’m going to watch it. I know you all are going to watch it. I think everyone in New York is going to watch it,” defending champion and No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka said Friday. “Yeah, I mean, for me, I’m not that surprised that that happened, because, like, at every Grand Slam, there is always some sort of drama. You know what I mean? Like a first round. Like, `Oh, my God!”‘

The U.S. Tennis Association announced the show-court schedules for both Day 1 and Day 2.

That includes 15-year-old Coco Gauff in action at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Tuesday.

The first match in the main stadium Monday will be French Open champion Ash Barty against Zarina Diyas, followed by defending men’s champion and No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic against Roberto Carballes Baena.

Then at night, Williams-Sharapova will be followed by 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer against qualifier Sumit Nagal.

Williams owns 23 major singles trophies, while Sharapova has five. Both have been ranked No. 1. They’ve met at every other major tournament at least once, including in a final at each, but never before at the U.S. Open. Williams has won 18 matches in a row against Sharapova, and leads their overall series 19-2.

In Louis Armstrong Stadium on Monday, the day slate includes Williams’ older sister, two-time U.S. Open champion Venus, 2016 runner-up Karolina Pliskova and No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev, while the night program features three-time major champ Stan Wawrinka and 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys.

Tuesday’s participants in Ashe include Osaka and two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem during the afternoon, with 18-time major title winner Rafael Nadal and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in action at night.

In addition to Gauff’s first-round match against Anastasia Potapova, Day 2 in Armstrong will include two-time major champion Simona Halep and Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the afternoon, along with two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and the combustible Nick Kyrgios against American Steve Johnson at night.

RULES RECAP

In an effort to avoid the sort of confusion that reigned over last year’s U.S. Open final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, the U.S. Tennis Association wants to make the sport’s rules – and chair umpires’ rulings – clearer to on-site spectators and TV viewers.

So when a player is warned by an official about a code violation – getting coaching during a match, say, or destroying a racket – that will be displayed on the scoreboard.

“It’s not a constant marker there,” U.S. Open chief umpire Jake Garner said Friday. “It’s just when the violation occurs, it will show up on the board at the moment it’s given.”

The USTA decided against allowing match officials speak to the media after a contest involving controversy or questions, but Garner or tournament referee Soeren Friemel – both are new appointees – might be made available.

Two other rules tweaks this year: The excessive heat rule will allow for 10-minute breaks for all men’s or women’s matches, whether or not they already were in progress when the weather reached a point of being dangerous to players; women can now only have one bathroom or change-of-clothing break per three-set match, not two.

TOKYO’S TEAM?

Host Japan might not get to field its dream mixed doubles team for tennis at the next year’s Summer Olympics.

That’s because Kei Nishikori thinks playing with Naomi Osaka might just be too much tennis in Tokyo.

The 2014 U.S. Open runner-up is planning to play singles and men’s doubles at the 2020 Games and for now isn’t thinking about adding mixed doubles to his plans.

“Very hot, very humid, playing singles and two doubles – I don’t know if I can,” Nishikori said at Flushing Meadows on Friday.

A Nishikori-Osaka duo not only would be expected to contend for a medal in Tokyo – it would be among the most popular pairings in Olympic tennis history.

Osaka, who moved from Japan to the United States when she was 3, is the No. 1 ranked women’s player and the reigning champion at both the U.S. Open and Australian Open.

Nishikori, who also left Japan to live in the United States, is No. 7 in the current ATP rankings. At last year’s U.S. Open, he and Osaka became the first Japanese male and female players to reach the semifinals of the same Grand Slam tournament.

They’re also friends who have played video games together.

But what about Olympic tennis together?

“I haven’t thought too much yet, honestly,” Nishikori said. “I don’t know. I will talk to Naomi later.”