PARIS - Roger Federer and Venus Williams rallied to advance to the third round of the French Open yesterday.

Federer trailed by 5-1 in the third set before getting past Jose Acasuso, 7-6 (8), 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-2. Williams came close to an early exit, needing to save a match point before defeating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-5.

Andy Roddick defeated Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (2), to match his best showing at Roland Garros.

Federer reached the last three finals in Paris, but the clay-court major remains the only Grand Slam tournament he has not won.

"Of course I'm thrilled to be through," said Federer, who saved four set points in the first tiebreaker. "It was sort of a fun match to be part of with so many ups and downs."

Fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic joined the seven-time Grand Slam champion in the third round by defeating Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, 6-1, 6-2, and Serena Williams cruised past Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain, 6-2, 6-0.

Venus Williams began her match Wednesday, but play was suspended because of darkness after the third-seeded American lost the first set. She faced a match point while trailing by 5-4 in the final set but managed to hold serve, break Safarova and hold again for the win.

"Yesterday, I think I did too many things wrong. She just was firing for every shot and making them," Venus Williams said. "Obviously, with the delay, there was a lot of things to think about beforehand."