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Kim caught in Rus hour

Kim Clijsters, so near and yet so far from French Open glory in the past, suffered more agony on the clay with a sudden second-round defeat on Thursday but fellow twice runner-up Robin Soderling powered through. Important results

india Updated: May 27, 2011 01:04 IST

Kim Clijsters, so near and yet so far from French Open glory in the past, suffered more agony on the clay with a sudden second-round defeat on Thursday but fellow twice runner-up Robin Soderling powered through.

Andy Murray again laboured to a 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Simone Bolelli while China’s Li Na improved on her first-round display with an assured 6-4, 7-5 win over Silvia Soler-Espinosa beneath much cloudier skies at a rain-threatened Roland Garros.

Women’s second seed Clijsters, a doubt before the tournament after injuring her ankle at her cousin’s wedding, looked to have shrugged off the ill effects and a chilly breeze in a dominant first set before folding 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.

Belgian Clijsters was runner-up in 2001 and 2003 and her exit was her worst performance in Paris since her debut in 2000. The Australian and US Open champion was also on a 15-match winning streak at grand slams.

“I was too negative in my head,” Clijsters told reporters.
“If I wasn’t feeling like I was able to play tough matches, then I wouldn’t have made that decision to come here.”

Rus, the world number 114 in only her third year on the tour, was ecstatic to have beaten a “hero”.

Sweden’s Soderling lost out in the final in the last two years to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The fifth seed is flying beneath the radar in western Paris with all the focus on Nadal after his first-round struggles and the immense form of rival Novak Djokovic, but Soderling showed he too was a force with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Albert Ramos.

Nadal made to struggle

Rafael Nadal was made to struggle once again at the French Open on Thursday before defeating fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) in a hard-fought second round tie. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/27_05_11_pg21b.jpg

Sharapova scrapes through
Sharapova avoided Roland Garros humiliation when she recovered from a set and 1-4 down to defeat French 17-year-old, and world 188, Caroline Garcia 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the last 32 on Thursday.

Seventh seed Sharapova, the former world number one and triple Grand Slam title winner, looked set to follow Clijsters.

But she called on her famed fighting spirit to run off 11 successive games and clinch a match-up against Taiwan’s Chan Yung-Jan for a place in the last 16.