At two sets down against Marcos Baghdatis, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed a reaction to stay in the French Open and he was relieved to produce one as he battled through in five.
Tsonga was out of sorts in the opening two hours at Roland Garros as Baghdatis edged a tie-break before doubling his advantage thanks to two breaks of serve.
However, the Frenchman dug deep and turned his fortunes around with a gritty display that left fans on Court Philippe Chatrier delighted.
Tsonga only dropped seven games in the remaining three sets as his quality shone through, Baghdatis unable to contend with his rival's new-found momentum.
"We can't say it's my best match ever at Roland Garros," admitted Tsonga. "During the first sets, I had opportunities. I didn't go for them. That's true.
"I didn't play very, very well with my forehand. I made many mistakes. I was not aggressive enough.
"I was really waiting for the balls rather than hitting them and moving to the net and imposing my style.
"I know that these are the things I didn't do well. It's going to be important for me to fix this for the match to come.
"Of course I prefer when it's easier, but he did a good match. He just played perfectly, tactically in the first two, and he pushed me to give the best of myself.
"So I'm really happy to win today because it was not easy."
The 31-year-old will meet Ernests Gulbis in the third round.