Getty Images

Murray rallies into 3rd round at French Open

Leave a comment

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.

Murray completes fairytale return, Lopez claims 2 titles

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) Andy Murray completed a fairytale return from hip surgery by winning the Queen’s Club doubles title with Feliciano Lopez, who ended Sunday with two titles after earlier winning the singles title as well.

The Spaniard is the first man to win both titles at the grass-court tournament in London since Mark Philippoussis in 1997.

Murray spent five months away from the sport until this week. He and Lopez defeated Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6 (6), 5-7, 10-5 in the doubles final – not long after Lopez outlasted Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2) in the singles.

Murray capped a remarkable week 146 days after undergoing what he hopes was career-saving hip surgery. In January he had said he was planning to retire after Wimbledon because of the severe pain he felt on a daily basis.

The three-time Grand Slam champion is approaching Wimbledon, which starts July 1, full of confidence after playing freely and without pain as he secured his first doubles title since winning with his brother Jamie Murray in Tokyo in 2011. Murray won’t play singles at Wimbledon but has already confirmed that Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert will partner him in the men’s doubles.

Murray and Lopez hadn’t played together in a tournament before beating top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah on Thursday. They completed their darkness-delayed quarterfinal win over British duo Daniel Evans and Ken Skupski on Saturday, right before their semifinal win over Henri Kontinen and John Peers.

Lopez, who had been forced to play in three matches on Saturday including his singles semifinal, played almost 5 hours of tennis altogether on Sunday. He reaffirmed his status as the tournament’s oldest winner at age 37 with the singles title.

The veteran Spaniard was already its oldest winner when he took the title in 2017.

Lopez was playing his first final since defeating Marin Cilic in the decider two years ago and was made to work hard by the 34-year-old Simon.

Lopez saved all but one of the break points he faced and converted three of his 13 opportunities to prevail in 2 hours, 49 minutes. Lopez had won five of their previous seven meetings and all four on grass.

Lopez is the first wild card to claim the title since Pete Sampras defeated Tim Henman to win in 1999. He would have been the oldest player to win a tour-level title since the 43-year-old Ken Rosewall won the Hong Kong Grand Prix final in 1977, but Roger Federer beat him to that accolade after winning his 10th Halle Open title earlier Sunday. Federer is a month older than Lopez.

Barty beats Goerges in Birmingham final to take No. 1 spot

Getty Images
Leave a comment

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Ashleigh Barty defeated Julia Goerges 6-3, 7-5 to win the Birmingham Classic title on Sunday, a victory that ensures the Australian will be No. 1 in the rankings on Monday.

The 23-year-old Barty, who lost the final to Petra Kvitova in 2017, did not drop a set all week at the grass-court tournament, and she fought back from being 4-5 down in the second set to beat the German in 1 hour, 28 minutes.

Goerges fought back tears as she congratulated her friend on taking top spot in the rankings ahead of Wimbledon, which starts July 1.

French Open champion Barty, currently ranked No. 2, will take over from Naomi Osaka, who lost 6-2, 6-3 loss to Yulia Putintseva in the second round on Thursday.

Barty is only the second Australian woman to hold the top spot after Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976.

Barty, who extended her winning streak to 11 matches, and Goerges reached the semifinals in doubles together before Barty withdrew from their semifinal with a right arm injury.