Paris: Russina third seed Vera Zvonareva was fortunate to progress to the French Open third round with a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory after German Sabine Lisicki needed a medical time out and then crumbled with victory almost in her grasp on Wednesday.

Zvonareva, who reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year but has never favoured clay, struggled to find any sort of rhythm in front of a half-empty Court One and looked almost certain to become the highest seed to fall so far this year in either draw.

She was two points from being eliminated in the second set but clawed her way back only to slip 5-2 down in the third as the evening wore on.

Qualifier Lisicki then spurned a match-point before being visited by a doctor on court and having her blood pressure checked during a long break.

She tearfully tried to soldier on but Zvonareva sealed a very lucky win. A tearful Lisicki was carried off court on a stretcher.

(Agencies)