Injured Clijsters goes down to Dutch Rus
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.
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 Aranxta 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 U.S Open champion was also on a 15-match winning streak at grand slams.
"I was too negative in my head," Clijsters said.
"If I wasn't feeling like I was able to play tough matches, then I wouldn't have made that decision to come here."
Image: Kim Clijsters leaves the court after losing to Arantxa Rus
'I'd like to play every day like this'
Czech dark horse Petra Kvitova made her move on the outside with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over China's Zheng Jie and 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska also reached the third round by overcoming India's Sania Mirza.
Belgian Clijsters was runner-up in 2001 and 2003 and her exit was her worst performance at Roland Garros since her debut in 2000. The Australian and US Open champion was also on a 15-match winning streak at grand slams.
Rus, the world number 114, was ecstatic. "I just wanted to go for every point. I'd like to play every day like this," she said at courtside.
Image: Aranxta Rus celebrates after defeating Kim Clijsters
Soderling chalks out easy win
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 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.
Cheered on by a smattering of Swedes with painted faces on a half-full Court Suzanne Lenglen, Soderling displayed why he is so dangerous on clay with strengths in all areas making up for an occasional inability to kill off a point.
"I think conditions were a little bit tougher today. It was tough to feel really perfect. But overall, a win in straight sets is always good," Soderling said.
Image: Sweden's Robin Soderling returns to Spain's Albert Ramos
Andy Murray labours into third round
Andy Murray huffed and puffed past Italian Simone Bolelli 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 to book his place in the third round of the French Open on Thursday.
On a windswept court Philippe Chatrier, the fourth-seeded Briton showed signs of irritation but twice came back from a break down in the opener to force a tiebreak he won 7-3 as Bolelli made a flurry of unforced errors.
Murray also dropped serve in the second set and third sets of an error-ridden match, but managed to raise his game when it mattered to seal victory with a backhand winner down the line after two hours 51 minutes.
The Scot will face either France's Arnaud Clement or German Michael Berrer for a place in the last 16.
Image: Britain's Andy Murray reacts after beating Italy's Simone Bolelli
Fish sails past Haase
Fourth seed Murray, beaten by Djokovic in January's Australian Open final, huffed and puffed his way to victory but the battling Briton can never be discounted if he can find his best form.
American 10th seed Mardy Fish wrapped up a 7-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Robin Haase but compatriot Sam Querrey lost out to Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia and Spain's Fernando Verdasco defeated Xavier Malisse in four sets.
Image: Mardy Fish of the US reacts after winning his match against Robin Haase of the Netherlands