Former champion Jennifer Capriati needed three sets to see off the challenge of 25th seed Elena Bovina in the third round of the French Open.
The American, seeded seventh this year, won the first set 6-2 but her Russian opponent took the second 6-3.
Capriati, champion at Roland Garros in 2001, broke in the third game of the decider but then immediately lost her own serve.
However, Bovina was broken at 4-5 to allow Capriati victory.
Capriati will now meet Francesca Schiavone in the fourth round after the Italian beat Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-2 6-3.
"I really think I am getting stronger as each match goes by," said Capriati who missed the Australian Open with a back injury.
Serena Williams beat Silvija Talaja 6-0 6-4 to reach the fourth round.
The second seed stormed to a 5-0 lead after 16 minutes, but struggled to find her best form afterwards.
Croatian Talaja steadied herself in the second set and led 4-3 before Williams won the final three games.
Williams, the 2002 champion, became the tournament favourite when defending champ Justine Henin-Hardenne lost in the second round.
The American will play Shinobu Asagoe for a place in the quarter-finals after the Japanese player beat Argentina's Gisela Dulka 7-5 4-6 6-4.
Also into the last 16 is Anastasia Myskina, who enjoyed a straight-sets win over Czech player Denisa Chladkova.
The Russian sixth seed took the first set 6-3 but then found herself two breaks down in the second.
However, she battled back to force a tie-break which she won comfortably to score a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) victory.
In the next round, she will play either 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat unseeded Swiss player Myriam Casanova in three sets.
Fabiola Zuluaga beat Katarina Srebotnik in three sets - her reward is a last 16 match against fourth seed Venus Williams.