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Former champion Wawrinka out of French Open

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PARIS (AP) The Latest on the French Open, the year’s second Grand Slam tennis tournament (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

Another former French Open champion has exited the tournament in the first round as Stan Wawrinka lost a five-set battle with Guillermo Garcia Lopez of Spain.

Looking a shadow of the player who won the title in Paris three years ago, Wawrinka struggled with his serve and hit an awful lot of unforced errors (72) in his 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 loss.

Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam winner who was runner-up in Roland Garros last year, has been hampered by knee problems that forced him to miss three months of the season.

He had won just one match on clay heading to the French Open and entered the tournament at No. 30, his worse ranking since 2008.

2:30 p.m.

The road trip was worth it for Marco Trungelliti, the “lucky loser” who drove for about 9 hours with his brother, mother and grandmother from Barcelona to Paris in order to get into the French Open – and then won his match.

Trungelliti, a 28-year-old Argentine ranked 190th, lost in qualifying at Roland Garros and then headed home to Spain.

But when an eighth spot in the main draw opened up because of an injury withdrawal, Trungelliti raced back to France. He faced Bernard Tomic in the first round on Monday and emerged with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory in a match that lasted nearly 3 hours.

This was only the third tour-level match of the year for Trungelliti and the 16th of his career. He is now 4-3 in Grand Slam action.

1:30 p.m.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is through to the French Open second round after defeating Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.

The No. 8-seeded Czech needed 2 hours, 7 minutes to overcome her 87th-ranked opponent on the Philippe-Chatrier showcourt on Monday.

Kvitova’s best run in Paris was to the semifinals in 2012. She bowed out in the second round last year, making her Grand Slam return after an assailant attacked her with a knife at her home in December 2016, requiring extensive surgery to her left hand, her playing hand.

Royg had reached the fourth round at Roland Garros last year.

1:05 p.m.

Former top-ranked player Victoria Azarenka has bowed out of the French Open in the first round, beaten 7-5, 7-5 by Katerina Siniakova.

Azarenka, a semifinalist in Paris five years ago, is currently ranked 84th after giving birth to a son in December 2016.

After a poor clay-court campaign punctuated by early exits in Madrid and Rome, the two-time Grand Slam champion was unable to turn things around against the 54th-ranked Siniakova.

She hit 38 unforced errors on the remote Court 18.

11:35 a.m.

Lucky loser Marco Trungelliti of Argentina has replaced Nick Kyrgios in the main draw of the French Open.

The 21st-seeded Kyrgios pulled out with an injured right elbow on Sunday.

Trungelliti will play Bernard Tomic in the first round.

10:35 a.m.

Rafael Nadal headlines the second day at the French Open, beginning his bid for an 11th title at Roland Garros.

The “King of Clay” is 79-2 in Paris and is the title favorite again. He has lost only one match on his favorite surface this season, claiming titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

The top-ranked Spaniard faces Simone Bolelli of Italy on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem, the only player to beat Nadal this season on clay, is also on the day’s busy program, taking on Ilya Ivashka of Belarus on Court 1.

Former champion Novak Djokovic, the No. 20 seed, is up against Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil.

In women’s play, No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki takes on American Danielle Collins, while two-time champion Maria Sharapova faces Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands.

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

Serena falls to Pliskova in Aussie Open quarters

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Karolina Pliskova says her “mind was in the locker room” when she was down 5-1 in the third set of her Australian Open quarterfinal against 23-time major winner Serena Williams.

In one of the most stunning comebacks at the Australian Open, the seventh-seeded Pliskova saved four match points as she rallied to win the last six games to clinch a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory and a semifinal spot against U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka.

“I didn’t have too many chances in the third set. I was a little bit too passive. Obviously mentally down,” Pliskova said. “So I just said, ‘Let’s try this game, on 5-2, maybe I’m going to have couple of chances.’

“She got a bit shaky at the end, so I took my chances, and I won.”

Pliskova’s win over the seven-time Australian Open titlist means there’ll be a first-time women’s champion at Melbourne Park this year.

In the other semifinal, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova will play Danielle Collins, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this tournament. Kvitova’s best previous run at Melbourne was to the semifinals in 2012.

‘Barbecued chicken’: Tiafoe’s Australia run ended by Nadal

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal is back to feeling healthy. Probably not a coincidence that he’s back in the Australian Open semifinals.

Playing his familiar brand of court-covering, ball-bashing, opponent-frustrating tennis, Nadal claimed 20 of his first 23 service points and saved the only two break chances he faced, ending American Frances Tiafoe’s best Grand Slam run with a dominating 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory Tuesday night.

“I feel lucky to be where I am after all the things I went through,” said Nadal, who quit during his quarterfinal at Melbourne Park a year ago because of a right leg problem, again during his semifinal at the U.S. Open in September because of a painful right knee, and then had offseason surgery on his right ankle.

“Not easy situations,” he said, summing it up.

Nadal, 32, reached his 30th major semifinal and prevented Tiafoe from getting to his first, two days after he turned 21.

“I knew he was going to bring crazy intensity. I knew the ball was going to be jumping. I knew if he got hold of a forehand, it was going to be barbecued chicken,” Tiafoe said. “But point in, point out, I’ve never seen someone so locked in.”

The two hadn’t played each other before, though they did practice together at Roland Garros back in 2014, when Tiafoe was a teen in the junior competition.

Entering this year’s Australian Open, the 39th-ranked Tiafoe had never been past the third round at a major. But he knocked off two-time Slam runner-up Kevin Anderson and 20th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov on the way to the quarterfinals, drawing plenty of attention for his play – and his bare-chested, biceps-slapping celebrations inspired by LeBron James.

As usual, Tiafoe was animated and talkative Tuesday. He lamented missed shots with a self-admonishing “Oh, Frances!” He marked good ones with a shout of “Let’s go!”

But it all came to a screeching halt against Nadal, a 17-time major champion.

Tiafoe, who is from Maryland, was broken the initial time he served in each set, which was all Nadal needed, given how well he handled his own service games. He’s been reluctant to go into detail about a recent tweak he made to his serve, saying it’s “nothing drastic, nothing dramatic.”

He spoke after Tuesday’s win about going for winners on his first forehand following a serve, something he called “very important … at this stage of my career.”

Whatever he’s doing is working. And how. Nadal has won every set he’s played in the tournament, the first time he’s done that en route to the semifinals in Australia since 2009, the only time he won the championship.

“I am playing well,” he said. “I did a lot of things well during the whole week and a half.”

Now Nadal goes up against another opponent much younger than he is, 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, who upset Roger Federer in the fourth round.

The 14th-seeded Tsitsipas became the first player from Greece to earn a semifinal berth at a major, beating No. 22 Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2) earlier Tuesday.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Tsitsipas said about his matchup against Nadal. “I feel all right with my game. I feel like I can do something good against him.”

Asked about all of these kids trying to elbow their way to the top of tennis, Nadal smiled and said: “They can wait a little bit.”