Andy Murray is through to the third round of the 2015 French Open, but Heather Watson has exited the tournament following defeat to Sloane Stephens.

World number three Murray surprisingly dropped the second set against Portuguese Joao Sousa at Roland Garros, yet recovered well facing a break point at 2-1 down in the third to take the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a time of two hours and 30 minutes.

"I realised towards the end of the second set and the beginning of the third he raised his level a lot," he said after his 12th consecutive victory on clay.

"He was putting a lot of pressure on me and I just had to tell myself to try to get through this, to weather the storm a little bit and hopefully his level will drop because he was playing extremely well. I came up with some good serves on those break points and managed to turn it around."

While Murray successfully negotiated his path into the next round, fellow Briton Watson endured a rather tough afternoon on court seven and was beaten by American prodigy Stephens.

Having lost the opening set, the 23-year-old fought back to square the second at 4-4 but then failed to hold her serve in the ninth game on her way to a 6-4, 6-4 loss.

Elsewhere on day five, reigning champion Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a sixth consecutive French Open crown and a 10th overall with an easy win over fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.

Novak Djokovic, who is likely to meet Nadal at the quarter-final stage bar any unexpected upsets, beat Gilles Muller 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 while Marin Cilic knocked out Andrea Arnaboldi in straight sets and David Goffin was victorious over Santiago Giraldo.

Kyle Edmund, winner of a grand slam match for the first time in his career earlier this week, was unfortunately forced to withdraw from the tournament and forfeit his contest against Nick Kyrgios due to a persistent stomach injury. The Australian will now face Murray in round three.

In the women's draw, Serena Williams went a set down against Anna-Lena Friedsam but managed to take the next two 6-3, 6-3 to avert a sizeable shock.

There was to be no such comeback for Caroline Wozniacki however, with the former world number one beaten 6-4, 7-6 by Julia Goerges.

Fourth seed Petra Kvitova advanced thanks to her victory over Silvia Soler Espinosa and there were also wins for Victoria Azarenka, Madison Keys, Andreea Mitu, Andrea Petkovic and Sara Errani.

Svetlana Kuznetsova is out following defeat to Francesca Schiavone.