PARIS &

Lleyton Hewitt rallied from two sets down for the fourth time in his career Thursday and beat 2004 champion Gaston Gaudio 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the French Open.




Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion, missed two months because of a back injury and returned at the Rome Masters in early May. He broke his Argentine opponent in the third and seventh games of the third set, and then again to open each of the two remaining sets.




The 14th-seeded Australian made 25 unforced errors in the first two sets, but limited that to 19 in the final three. He also had 20 aces, while Gaudio double-faulted 13 times.




Hewitt stayed on course for a fourth-round rematch with two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. He lost to Nadal at the same stage last year.




Hewitt has won the U.S. Open and Wimbledon and reached the final at the Australian Open. He has made the quarterfinals twice at the French Open, the last time losing to eventual champion Gaudio in 2004.




Gaudio, who had reached the third round in Paris for five straight years, has only once won consecutive matches this year.




Maria Sharapova advanced to the third round in the women's draw, easily beating Jill Craybas of the United States 6-2, 6-1.




Up 2-1 at the start, Craybas held three break points at love-40. But Sharapova won the next 11 points, holding serve with the help of three forehand winners in a row, then breaking Craybas at love when the American dumped a volley into the net with the entire court open.




In the second set, Craybas broke the second-ranked Russian in the sixth game, smiling and raising her hands after the winning point to accept the crowd's applause. But Sharapova broke right back to advance.




No. 17 Katarina Srebotnik and No. 14 Patty Schnyder advanced. Srebotnik defeated Vera Dushevina of Russia 6-4, 6-2, and Schnyder beat Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2.




On the men's side, No. 6 Novak Djokovic also reached the third round, beating Laurent Recouderc of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. No. 16 Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist, advanced by defeating Kristian Pless of Denmark 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.




Later Thursday, Nadal was to face Flavio Cipolla in the second round. Serena Williams and Amelie Mauresmo also were scheduled to play.




On Wednesday, top-ranked Roger Federer advanced to the third round, stopping Thierry Ascione of France 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (8). The 10-time Grand Slam champion breezed through the first two sets, but as conditions worsened and the sun began to fade, so did his control of the match.




"I know that they want to get their match over and done with," Federer said.




Organizers have been trying to squeeze in extra matches because of the rain delays on the first two days of the tournament.




"What I don't like is if they think ... I'm the favorite, I should win this in straight sets," said Federer, who finally walked off court at 9:15 p.m. "What about if it doesn't turn out this way?"