French Open: Eugenie Bouchard, Milos Raonic advance
Venus, Serena Williams drop 2nd-round matches
Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic reached the third round of the French Open on Wednesday.
Bouchard managed a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 come-from-behind win over German Julia Goerge while eighth-seeded Raonic beat Czech Jiri Vesely 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1 to reach the third round for a third consecutive year.
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., came back from a break down in the first set and won the hour-long opener in a tiebreak before taking control of the match.
Bouchard struggled in the first set before rallying.
"I wasn't worried after the first, I just took my time," said Bouchard. "I just really tried to forget about that I lost the first set and just start fresh. That's what I did for the second and third."
The 18th seed from Westmount, Que., will play Swede Johanna Larsson, who upset 12th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Elsewhere, in men's doubles first-round action, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic defeated Australia's Matthew Ebden and Russia's Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Also, Serena and Venus Williams will both be heading home early.
I have confidence that no matter what happens on the court, I can fight and still give my best and give myself the best chance to win.- Canada's Eugenie Bouchard after 2nd-round win
Serena, the defending French Open champion and a 17-time major winner, lost to Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-2, 6-2, marking her earliest exit at a major tournament since falling in the first round at Roland Garros two years ago.
A short time earlier, older sister Venus was eliminated by Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Bouchard said she stayed mentally strong.
"I have confidence that no matter what happens on the court, I can fight and still give my best and give myself the best chance to win," said Bouchard.
Bouchard broke the 107th-ranked Goerges to end the match, taking the victory with 21 winners and conversions on six of 13 break points.
Bouchard broke twice in the second set and began the third with another break of the German as she raced to a 5-0 lead. But she lost serve in the next game after a forehand error.
She immediately recovered a game later, breaking Goerges back and advancing on her first match point.
"In the first set I felt I wasn't in the right mental frame of mind, and it just wasn't good enough for my standards," Bouchard. "I just needed to regroup after that, and I really focused and got back to playing the way I need to play, which is stepping in, going for my shots."
Bouchard, a semifinalist at the Australian Open, arrived in Paris after her first WTA title last week in Germany. She was eliminated in the second round at Roland Garros last year, her French Open debut.
"For sure it definitely wasn't one of my best days, but I'm proud that I was able to turn it around,"said Bouchard. "It was definitely more of a mental win today to get my game back in the right place."
Raonic said he is noticing signs of improvement on court after struggling somewhat in his opening match, a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 win over Australian qualifier Nick Kyrgios.
"I feel like I'm playing better today than I did three days ago, I think I dealt a little bit better with when I got things figured out as far as intensity," he said.
"I held it on a little bit better where I struggled a little bit with my match three days ago. The court is playing a little bit slower than you would expect here in Paris, but it's been going well so far."
Raonic's third-round opponent is 29th seed Gilles Simon of France, who will have a partisan crowd behind him.
Raonic and Simon have only faced each other once before, with Raonic winning on clay at the 2011 Estoril Open in Portugal.
Meanwhile, the Williams siblings would have met in the third round had they both won.
"It was one of those days. You can't be on every day, and, gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam," the top-seeded Serena said. "It happens, you know. It's not the end of the world. It is what it is."
The sisters have lost on the same day at a major tournament twice before, with the last coming in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2011. The other time was at the French Open in 2008 in the third round.
With Li Na also eliminated, it is the first time in the Open era that the top two seeded women have lost before the third round at any Grand Slam tournament.
Serena struggled from the start against the 20-year-old Muguruza and finished the match with only eight winners and 29 unforced errors.
Venus's loss was the eighth time in her last nine major tournaments that she has failed to win more than one match.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion won the first set and was up an early break in the second. But the 19-year-old Schmiedlova responded by taking eight of nine games and won 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
"I felt like this was a match that I was most likely going to win. I'm sure, I don't know how Serena felt, but I'm sure she feels like that every time she goes on the court," Venus said. "So I think our expectation was to play in the next round."
Against Schmiedlova, the 29th-seeded Venus ended up with 47 unforced errors. Schmiedlova had only 20.
In the men's tournament, both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic made it through to the third round.
Federer beat Argentine qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 Wednesday, while the second-seeded Djokovic defeated Jeremy Chardy of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
Djokovic needs to win the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam.
Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic also advanced to the third round.
With files from The Associated Press