PARIS -- Gael Monfils hopped out of his changeover chair and stood with his back to the stands, raising his arms to join the French Open fans -- his fans -- as they did the wave.
All of 19, Monfils is giving locals hope of a long-awaited home-grown champion, and he was part of a pack of youngsters who brought some exuberance to another dreary, rainy day at Roland Garros.
Facing the oldest man in the field, 35-year-old Dick Norman, Monfils overcame a 2-1 deficit in sets for the second consecutive match and won, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 7-5, yesterday to reach the third round, equaling his best Grand Slam showing.
``This is the kind of match," Monfils had the wherewithal to recognize, ``that happens just a few times in a career."
Another 19-year-old, Novak Djokovic of Serbia-Montenegro, pulled off the day's biggest upset, eliminating No. 9 Fernando Gonzalez, 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1.
Gonzalez said he'd never faced an opponent who maintained his intensity so consistently for so long.
``He was all over me. I've never seen anything like it," said Gonzalez, who hits the ball as hard as anyone on tour. ``I just tried to stretch the game out, because I didn't think he could keep playing like that for long."
Two other, more modest, surprises came when Argentine qualifier Martin Vassallo Arguello beat No. 21 Sebastien Grosjean, 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, in a match carried over from Wednesday night, and Julien Benneteau of France defeated No. 19 Marcos Baghdatis, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4.
Baghdatis, who entered the day 6-0 in five-setters, reached the Australian Open final in January.
``Because of that, everybody's waiting for me to play well, so it's tougher," the 20-year-old Baghdatis said. ``I'm not really in the match. I'm not looking at the ball. I'm thinking about what people think, what people will say. I don't feel at ease."
A rain delay of nearly two hours caused a backlog of matches.
Play between No. 8 James Blake -- one of only two US men left -- and Nicolas Almagro was halted with light fading and the temperature in the low 50s after the Spaniard won the first set, 7-6 (7-5).
That was one of five singles matches suspended in progress. Five others were postponed altogether, including defending champion Rafael Nadal vs. Kevin Kim of the United States, and matches involving No. 2 Kim Clijsters and five-time major champion Martina Hingis. Martina Navratilova, competing in doubles at age 49, had her first-round match pushed back a second consecutive day.