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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 .

Nadal beats Zverev for Italian Open title

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ROME — Rafael Nadal came out on top in a matchup of this year’s top two clay-court players, beating defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 Sunday to win a record-extending eighth Italian Open title.

Nadal recovered from an early break in the third set after a 50-minute rain delay.

The victory means Nadal will reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Roger Federer on Monday.

Federer is sitting out the clay season to prepare for Wimbledon.

Nadal and Zverev had each won two titles on clay this season entering the final, with Nadal lifting trophies in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and Zverev taking Munich and Madrid.

Nadal improved to 5-0 in his career against Zverev and gained an extra measure of confidence entering the French Open, which starts next Sunday.

Earlier, Elina Svitolina defended the women’s title, facing little resistance from top-ranked Simona Halep in a 6-0, 6-4 win.

Svitolina defends Italian Open title as Halep injured again

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ROME – Elina Svitolina faced little resistance from Simona Halep in a 6-0, 6-4 win Sunday to defend her Italian Open title.

Just like in last year’s final, Halep appeared bothered by an injury.

The top-ranked Romanian called a trainer onto the court for an apparent back problem while trailing 2-3 in the second set then exited the court for treatment under a medical timeout.

“I was a little bit too stiff with my body and I couldn’t stay in the rallies,” Halep said. “The muscles were stiff. I couldn’t run.”

Last year, Halep rolled her ankle in the final and lost a set lead to Svitolina.

This time, Svitolina didn’t face a single break point in a match that lasted just 67 minutes.

“It’s amazing that I could come and defend my title here,” Svitolina said. “It’s really something very, very special for me.”

Halep said her physical problems were the result of a long three-set win over Maria Sharapova in the semifinals a day earlier

“Every time I play against Sharapova the ball is coming very flat and I bend down a lot,” Halep said.

The fourth-ranked Svitolina became the first woman to defend her title at the Foro Italico since Serena Williams accomplished the feat in 2013 and 2014. The Ukrainian picked up a winner’s check of 507,000 euros (nearly $600,000) for her 12th career title.

Svitolina improved to 4-2 in her career against Halep, who had already secured the No. 1 ranking for another week by reaching the semifinals.

“She deserved to win for sure,” Halep said. “She didn’t miss. I missed.”

Later, Rafael Nadal was aiming for a record-extending eighth Rome title against defending champion Alexander Zverev.

This is the last major warmup for the French Open, which starts next Sunday.

“In a Grand Slam it’s very tricky,” said Svitolina, who has never made it beyond the quarterfinals at a major. “But I’m definitely going to Roland Garros on a high note.”