May 25, 2011 / 7:21 PM / in 8 years

Zvonareva through as Lisicki wilts with win in sight

Vera Zvonareva of Russia returns the ball to Sabine Lisicki of Germany during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 25, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

PARIS (Reuters) - 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.

Russian third seed Zvonareva, who reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals last year but has never favored 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 matchpoint 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.

Reporting by Mark Meadows; Editing by Martyn Herman

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