Serena Williams played with fire at the French Open on Thursday but the world number one pulled through to the third round with a 5-7 6-3 6-3 win against unheralded German Anna-Lena Friedsam.
The American hit a flurry of unforced errors in the first set and faced two break points in the first game of the second before she regained her composure.
Williams, whose 19 grand slam titles include the French Open crowns in 2002 and 2013, has already experienced spectacular failures here, having been knocked out in the first round in 2012 and in the second round last year.
But when she broke Friedsam's serve at the start of the third set the chance of a repeat began to fade away as the German's belief finally withered.
Williams broke serve again to claim victory and she will next face either 27th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or Czech Lucie Hradescka.
French Open women's singles round 2 results on Thursday:
1-Serena Williams (U.S.) beat Anna-Lena Friedsam (Germany) 5-7 6-3 6-3 Andreea Mitu (Romania) beat 12-Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4 Francesca Schiavone (Italy) beat 18-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 6-7(11) 7-5 10-8 30-Irina Begu (Romania) beat Ana Konjuh (Croatia) 6-2 6-0 10-Andrea Petkovic (Germany) beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spain) 4-6 6-4 6-4 4-Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) beat Silvia Soler Espinosa (Spain) 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2 17-Sara Errani (Italy) beat Carina Witthoeft (Germany) 6-3 4-6 6-2 Julia Goerges (Germany) beat 5-Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) 6-4 7-6(4) Irina Falconi (U.S.) beat Sesil Karatantcheva (Bulgaria) 3-6 6-1 6-2