A swashbuckling Marat Safin took 24 minutes to finish off Felix Mantilla at the French Open on Friday, finally beating the Spaniard 11-9 in the fifth set of a match carried over from Thursday.
Sporting a look reminiscent of Alexander Dumas' French Musketeers, the moustachioed Russian eventually triumphed 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-7, 11-9 to reach the third round of the claycourt Grand Slam.
His relief was palpable as he hugged the Spaniard at the net following the four-hour, 38-minute marathon.
Safin takes his place against Potito Starace for a place in the fourth round.
Briton Tim Henman played a dream of a match to hammer Spain's Galo Blanco 7-6, 6-1, 6-2 and move into the last 16 of the French Open for the first time on his ninth visit here.
"In the past when I got to the third round here I was really excited that I won a couple of matches at the French," Henman said.
"But the state that my game is in now and the way I am playing I think I want much more out of it."
Henman will play unseeded Frenchman Michael Llodra for a place in the quarter-finals. The Briton has never gone beyond round four at any Grand Slam event outside of Wimbledon.
In women's action, Russia's Maria Sharapova stormed through to the fourth round with an impressive 6-3, 7-6 victory over compatriot and 10th seed Vera Zvonareva.
The 17-year-old, seeded 18th, blasted past her fellow Russian, who beat Venus Williams en route to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year.
Florida-based Sharapova faces unseeded German Marlene Weingaertner for a place in the quarter-finals.
"The joy just comes from knowing that you've played a solid game and knowing that you're at Roland Garros playing on Philippe Chatrier (centre)court and you've just won," she said.
"It'smy first time, so I definitely, you know, want to savour those moments."
Weingaertner provided the early shock of the day when she ousted eighth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova 6-3, 6-2.
Petrova, a semi-finalist last year, made 29unforced errors.
Weingaertner,who did not win a single game in her last meeting with Petrova, reached the fourth round here for the first time.
"Iwas very, very calm during the whole match," she said. "Even at the end, I was focused very much on my game.
"Ithink that was the key. If I play my tennis, I can beat players like this."
Inlater action, women's third seed Amelie Mauresmo faces Arantxa Parra Santonja and fifth seed Lindsay Davenport plays fellow American Marissa Irvin.
Men'sthird seed Guillermo Coria takes on Croatia's Mario Ancic.
Men's singles third round results: (prefix number denotes seeding)
Nicolas Escude (France) beat Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) 6-2, 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2
22-Juan Ignacio Chela (Argentina) beat Alex Corretja (Spain) 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
9-Tim Henman (Britain) beat Galo Blanco (Spain) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 6-2
Michael Llodra (France) beat Julien Jeanpierre (France) 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
Second round: 20-Marat Safin (Russia) beat Felix Mantilla (Spain) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 11-9
Women's singles third round results: (prefix number denotes seeding)
5-Lindsay Davenport (U.S.) beat Marissa Irvin (U.S.) 6-1, 6-4
14-Paola Suarez (Argentina) beat Tatiana Perebiynis (Ukraine) 6-3, 6-3
18-Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat 10-Vera Zvonareva (Russia) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
Marlene Weingartner (Germany) beat 8-Nadia Petrova (Russia) 6-3, 6-2