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It was a contrasting morning for the world no.4s at the French Open as Andy Murray fought off back spasms and a motivated opponent to battle his way into the third round, while Petra Kvitova had another easy outing cruising into round 3 at Roland Garros. Also advancing to the round of 32 were the men's 5th and 6th seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer and former women's no.1 Caroline Wozniacki.
British no.1 Andy Murray looked in serious danger of making an early exit from the French Open when he called for the trainer three times in the first set en route to dropping it 6-1 in his match against southpaw Jarkko Nieminen. However, the Brit did well to recover his poise, improve his on court movement and cut back on his unforced errors to beat the Finn rather comfortably in the end, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
Murray has been struggling with his back since the start of the year, and woke up feeling sore. He appeared to be on the verge of pulling out in the second set. Nieminen went up a break and lead 4-2 in the second before Murray found some form, winning 16 of the next 19 games to run away with the match. It will be interesting to see how Murray feels later today after a massage and a cool down session. There is a more than decent chance that he would evaluate his further participation in a tournament that could risk making his injury worse and put him in doubt for Wimbledon and the Olympics later this year. Murray's next opponent is Colombian Santiago Giraldo, who stunned the no.25 seed young Bernard Tomic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
Over on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Petra Kvitova continued to look in supreme form, producing 30 winners in her 6-1, 6-3 thumping of Pole Urszula Radwanska. After racing through the opening set in just 24 minutes, Kvitova made matters a little bit more difficult for herself in the second, making 18 unforced errors, yet still prevailed courtesy of a solitary break of serve.
Up next on the same court was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who resumed battle with Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, with the duo locked at a set apiece overnight. The break did Tsonga some good as he dropped just 2 games today, crushing the German 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Out on Court 1, Spanish no.2 David Ferrer continued his excellent run on clay with an easy 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win against Frenchman Benoit Paire. Other early winners included 13th seeded Argentine Juan Monaco and 19th seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, and the duo will face each other in the third round 3.
The women's singles witnessed easy wins for 9th seed Caroline Wozniacki and 10th seed Angelique Kerber, both ladies having rather contrasting years. Wozniacki, who started the year as the world no.1 and has been slipping backwards consistently, thrashed Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-1, 6-4. Kerber meanwhile is the newest member of the top 10 club, and has had a terrific year. She too eased into the third round for the loss of 5 games to Olga Govortsova, 6-3, 6-2. Other winners include 22nd seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Klara Zakopalova, with the latter stunning 16th seed Maria Kirilenko in a close three-setter.
Still to come today are defending champion Rafael Nadal and the favourite for the women's crown Maria Sharapova.
Women's Singles - Second Round
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 61 63
(7) Li Na (CHN) d. StÃ©phanie Foretz Gacon (FRA) 60 62
(9) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 61 64
(10) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 63 62
(14) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 26 63 61
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. (16) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 64 36 63
(22) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Melinda Czink (HUN) 46 63 63
(23) Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 64 61
Nina Bratchikova (RUS) d. (WC) Claire Feuerstein (FRA) 36 63 75
Men's Singles - Second Round
(4) Andy Murray (GBR) def. Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
(5) Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (FRA) def. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
(2) Rafael Nadal (ESP) def. Denis Istomin (UZB) 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 (read more)
David Goffin (BEL) def. Arnaud Clemant (FRA) 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 0-6, 6-2, 6-1
(6) David Ferrer (ESP) def. Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
(12) Nicolas Almagro (ESP) def. Marcos Baghdatis(CYP) 6-4, 6-3, 7-5
(19) Milos Raonic (CAN) def. Jesse Levine(USA) 6-4, 7-5, 6-2
(27) Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) def. Robin Haase (NED) 6-3, 7-6(7-5), 6-4
Fabio Fognini (ITA) def. (28) Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 8-6
Juan Monaco(ARG) def. Lukas Rosol (CZE) 7-6(7-4), 6-0, 7-6(7-5)
Santiago Giraldo(COL) def. (25) Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-4, 6-1, 6-3
File Photograph Copyright: Madrid Masters
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