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French Open wrap: Nadal, Wozniacki among the winners

There were also wins today for Francesca Schiavone and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Nadal throws a ball into the crowd to celebrate his victory.
Nadal throws a ball into the crowd to celebrate his victory.

GRIMACING IN PAIN with almost every step, Andy Murray nearly had to call it quits Thursday because of a back spasm at the French Open.

Instead, the fourth-seeded Brit rebounded from an awful first set to beat Jarkko Nieminen 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the third round.

Elsewhere today, defending champion Rafael Nadal also made it to the third round, defeating Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 and improving his record at Roland Garros to 47-1.

The second-seeded Spaniard has won the French Open six times, and one more will break the record he shares with Bjorn Borg.

No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and No. 6 David Ferrer of Spain also advanced, while Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova reached the third round by beating Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-3.

The fourth-seeded Czech was never really troubled on Court Suzanne Lenglen, saving all three break points she faced.

Kvitova secured her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year, and then won the WTA Championships. Although she has yet to win a title in 2012, she is seeded fourth in Paris and is expected to go deep into the tournament.

“I don’t have any expectation. I know that last season was great for me, and it will be very tough to have similar result as last year,” Kvitova said. “So I know this season will be very tough with the pressure and with everything else.”

Radwanska is the younger sister of third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska. The elder sibling reached the third round on Wednesday by beating seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.

Caroline Wozniacki also made it through. The ninth-seeded Dane, who last year spent all but one week as the No. 1-ranked player, beat Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-1, 6-4.

Wozniacki is still looking for her first Grand Slam title. At Roland Garros, she has never been past the quarter-finals, losing at that stage in 2010.

Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion and runner-up last year, defeated Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Later Thursday, second-seeded Maria Sharapova will face Ayumi Morita of Japan, and defending champion Li Na will play Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France.

Read: Murray survives injury scare at French Open>

Read: VIDEO: Rory McIlroy shoots a quadruple bogey at the Memorial>

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