PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the French Open:
Andy Murray is also weighing in on the FIFA bribery and corruption scandal, as Rafael Nadal did earlier.
“I wouldn’t say that many people were surprised by it,” the No. 3-ranked Murray said. “It’s good for sport in a way when that stuff happens, because people have kind of talked about it for a long time.”
Murray added: “People have suggested that there was some corruption going on there. So, yeah, now they are going to do a proper investigation into it and see what happens after that.”
After going 4-13 in the first round of the French Open, American women went 4-0 in the second round.
That top-seeded Serena Williams would advance was not surprising, although she had her share of problems while getting past 105th-ranked Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany in three sets.
There were reasons to believe the other three U.S. women in action might not stick around.
But they all did.
Madison Keys, seeded 16th, had never reached the third round at Roland Garros, yet breezed past Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-0, 6-3.
Irina Falconi hadn’t been to the third round at any Grand Slam tournament since the 2011 U.S. Open until defeating Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
And Sloane Stephens was 0-4 against Heather Watson of Britain before eliminating her 6-2, 6-4.
Andy Murray was more stumped by the kilt that his post-match interviewer wore than he was by his second-round opponent at the French Open.
“I really don’t know what to say,” the third-seeded Murray said when former player Fabrice Santoro appeared in full Scottish attire — kilt, long black socks, black shoes and sporran — to quiz the Scotsman about his 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory against Joao Sousa.
But Murray had plenty to say about his coach Amelie Mauresmo, a former No. 1 who won Wimbledon and the Australian Open but never got beyond the quarterfinals at the French, her home Grand Slam.
“She played with a lot of variety, something that I try to do on the court. I felt like she could help me with that. And she’s a very nice person. So it’s fun to work with her. That’s important,” he said. They’ve been together a year.
“So far, so good,” Murray said.
The 2013 Wimbledon and 2012 U.S. Open champion, a two-time semifinalist at the French, plays 29th-seeded Nick Kyrgios in the third round.
Venturing into soccer politics, Rafael Nadal says the cleaning out of apparent deep-rooted corruption in the sport’s governing body, FIFA, is “great news.”
“In the world of sport, in the world of football, in the world of tennis, politics, around the world, we need people who are fair and who are ready to work in a good way, being honest,” Nadal said after his second-round win in the French Open.
“If there (are) some people that are not being honest with the rest of the people, then they don’t deserve to be where they are,” he added. “So if that’s what happened on that case with some people of FIFA, (it) is great news that these people will not be there again.”
Nadal’s uncle, Miguel Angel Nadal, was a soccer professional. The steely defender played more than 200 games for Barcelona.
A painful right leg and one embarrassing point did not prevent Novak Djokovic from wrapping up a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 second-round victory over Gilles Muller.
Djokovic repeatedly flexed his right leg after shots. He took a medical timeout before the last game of the second set, getting his upper leg and lower back massaged by a trainer.
There also was one odd moment unrelated to all of that: Casually waiting for a shot by Muller to land out in the third set, Djokovic accidentally let the ball glance off his racket, giving away the point.
Djokovic wound up getting broken in that game, the only time he dropped serve all match.
Dispatched from the French Open by teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis, 27th-seeded Bernard Tomic will get cortisone injections on his aching lower back to mend himself for the grass court season and Wimbledon, where he’s had his best results at a Grand Slam, reaching the quarterfinals in 2011.
“I’ve never done that before,” the Australian said of the jabs. “Hopefully, that will get rid of the area that has been bothering me. But I have no idea about this stuff.”
Losing 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 8-6, Tomic squandered match points against Kokkinakis, not the first time that has happened this year.
“I had a bunch of match points this year. If I had converted them all I probably would have been close to the top 20 or even top 20 now, for sure,” said the current No. 26.
Kokkinakis, 19, is the first teenager to reach the third round at Roland Garros since Ernests Gulbis made the quarters in 2008, the ATP said.
Serena Williams will face a familiar foe in the French Open third round: former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.
They’ve played 18 times previously, with Williams winning 15 of those matches, including in the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Open finals.
Azarenka, a two-time champion at the Australian Open, moved on in Paris on Thursday by eliminating Lucie Hradecka 6-2, 6-3.
Azarenka is playing better than her ranking– 27 — suggests. She was a straight-sets winner, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round, too.
Shaking off an unsteady first set, Serena Williams won 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 against Anna-Lena Friedsam, winning 15 of the last 16 points on her serve.
The top seed in the women’s draw is through to the third round for the first time since 2013, the year she went on to win the second of her two French titles.
She lost in the second round last year.
Rafael Nadal had no real trouble against Nicolas Almagro, winning their second-round match 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. And he won brownie points with the center court crowd, eliciting their cheers, by using French to tell them how happy he is.
The nine-time champion’s shot-making was erratic at times. But he is moving well, suffocating Almagro with his persistent ball-retrieving. Nadal has now won 13 of 14 matches against his fellow Spaniard, ranked 154th.
Nadal is seeded lower than ever, sixth, at this French Open following a right-wrist injury, appendix surgery and, this season, disappointing results on clay, the surface where he once was superhuman.
On the Court Philippe Chatrier, where he won his nine French titles, Nadal looked solid if not spectacular.
“The forehand has been great, the backhand, too,” he said. “The movement has been better.”
Serena Williams looks back on track, at least for now, in her second-round match on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Williams won the second set 6-3 against Anna-Lena Friedsam, having lost the first set to the 21-year-old ranked 104 spots below her.
The top-ranked Williams hasn’t lost a three-set match this year, with a 7-0 record.
Francesca Schiavone has won an epic second-round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova on Court 1, with 13 breaks of serve in the third set, nine of them consecutive.
You may need a calculator to tot up the score: 6-7 (11), 7-5, 10-8.
The matchup of the past French Open champions lasted a grueling 3 hours, 50 minutes.
That’s still not their record. At the 2011 Australian Open, Schiavone beat Kuznetsova in the longest women’s match, by time, in Grand Slam history — a 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 marathon that lasted 4 hours, 44 minutes. Schiavone saved six match points, then converted on her third match point.
This time, Schiavone needed just one match point. At 15-40 in the final game, Kuznetsova attempted a forehand drop-shot but it sailed limply into the net.
Russia’s Kuznetsova, seeded 18th this time, won the title at Roland Garros in 2009, a year before Italy’s Schiavone did.
Serena Williams is in trouble in the second round of the French Open.
She lost the first set 7-5 to Anna-Lena Friedsam, a 21-year-old ranked 104 spots below the No.1.
Williams is having trouble with all her strokes, especially her serve.
Last year, the 19-time Grand Slam champion exited the French Open at this stage.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is through to the French Open third round.
The fourth seed beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2.
Kvitova was a semifinalist at the French in 2012.
The 17th-seeded woman, Sara Errani, also advanced against Carina Witthoeft, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Errani was a finalist at the French in 2012.
Thanks to his next opponent’s withdrawal, Japan’s Kei Nishikori is the first player to advance to the second week of the French Open — and he gets plenty of extra time for rest and preparation.
The fifth-seeded Nishikori was supposed to play Benjamin Becker in the third round on Friday, but Becker pulled out of the tournament Thursday because of a muscle tear in his right shoulder.
“Very sorry to hear about Benjamin being injured,” Nishikori tweeted here: https://twitter.com/keinishikori/status/603873170160943104 .
That puts Nishikori in the fourth round at Roland Garros for the second time. In 2013, he became the first man from Japan to make it that far in 75 years.
Next for Nishikori will be a match on Sunday against Lukas Rosol or Teymuraz Gabashvili.
Becker played in two consecutive five-set matches, beating No. 32 Fernando Verdasco 10-8 in the fifth on Wednesday.
The French Open loses its fifth-seeded woman, with Caroline Wozniacki losing 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the second round.
Her opponent, Julia Goerges, overcame the sniffles, frequently pulling out a tissue to wipe her red nose.
“Today is very special as I haven’t beaten a top-10 player for a long time,” said the German ranked 67 spots lower than the Dane, ranked five.
In the tiebreaker, “I just told myself to be aggressive,” she said. “It paid off in the end.”
Wozniacki, a former No. 1 and two-time finalist at the U.S. Open, has never advanced beyond the quarterfinals at the French. She looked distracted against Goerges, picking dust from under her fingernails during a second-set changeover after losing her serve in the 7th game.
In a matchup of past French Open champions on Court 1, Svetlana Kuznetsova has taken the first set from Francesca Schiavone in an epic tiebreaker than ended 13-11.
Kuznetsova finally seized the 82-minute set on her seventh chance, hitting a backhand volley winner to close a 15-stroke exchange.
Russia’s Kuznetsova won the title at Roland Garros in 2009, a year before Italy’s Schiavone did.
Fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki is making life difficult for herself, losing the first set 6-4 against an opponent ranked 67 spots below her, Julia Goerges.
The formerly top-ranked Dane broke the German in the fourth game, but then lost her next two service games. She angrily thumped her racket on the clay after netting a backhand that allowed Goerges to pull ahead 4-3.
The crowds are being slow to fill their court, Philippe Chatrier, which is barely half-full. The menacing weather doesn’t help: Dark clouds are filling the sky and a distinctly chilly breeze is flapping at the players’ yellow skirts.