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Roddick masters clay and Costa

ROME: Top seed Andy Roddick demonstrated his growing maturity on clay by beating former French Open champion Alberto Costa 6-4, 7-5 to reach the last 16 of the Rome Masters on Wednesday.

Though ranked nearly 50 places below the American, Costa was among the most dangerous floaters in the draw. The 2002 French Open champion and 1998 Rome finalist knocked out world number one Roger Federer at the same stage of last year's tournament.

"He's been one of the best clay-court players over the last 10 years so this is very good for my confidence," said Roddick.

Andre Agassi made quick work of French teenager Richard Gasquet, winning 6-2, 6-3. The 18-year-old Gasquet entered the event with some buzz after ending Roger Federer's 25-match winning streak in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals last month.

But Agassi took just 64 minutes to defeat a nervous Gasquet, who made many more unforced errors — and double faults — than his opponent.

"I don't know if he was nervous or not," Agassi said of Gasquet, who is 17 years his junior. "I just tried to play well and make him play a great match to win. As young as he is, he has a lot to look forward to."

Another setback

Anastasia Myskina suffered another setback ahead of her bid to defend her French Open title later this month when she fell at the first hurdle at the German Open. After disappointing showings in two recent clay-court tournaments in the United States the third-seeded Russian fell 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round here to 22-year-old German wildcard Julia Schruff.

The results (first round): At Rome (ATP Masters): second round: Tim Henman bt Nicolas Massu 6-3, 6-2; Andre Agassi bt Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-3; Fernando Verdasco bt Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (10/8), 6-2; Andy Roddick bt Albert Costa 6-4, 7-5; Guillermo Coria bt Nicolas Kiefer 6-1, 6-1; Dominik Hrbaty bt Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7/4), 6-0; David Ferrer bt Thomas Johansson 6-3, 6-4. First round: Fabrice Santoro bt David Nalbandian 6-4, 1-6, 6-4; Luis Horna bt Florian Mayer 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; Alberto Martin bt Rainer Schuettler 6-0, 1-0, retd.; Julien Benneteau bt Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-0; Marat Safin bt Jiri Novak 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-1; Guillermo Canas bt Andrei Pavel 7-5, 6-2; Ivan Ljubicic bt Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-3; Gaston Gaudio bt Karol Beck 6-4, 6-3; Rafael Nadal bt Mikhail Youzhny 6-0, 6-2; Nicolas Massu bt Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-0, 6-4; Filippo Volandri bt Younes el Aynaoui 6-0, 6-2.

At Berlin (German Open): Second round: Conchita Martinez bt Gisela Dulko 6-1, 6-3; Svetlana Kuznetsova bt Magdalena Maleeva 6-2, 6-1; Mary Pierce bt Elena Likhovtseva 6-2, 6-2; Julia Schruff bt Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; Virginie Razzano bt Jill Craybas 7-6 (8), 3-6, 7-5; Meghann Shaughnessy bt Dally Randriantefy 7-5, 6-3; Nadia Petrova bt Klara Koukalova 7-5, 6-4; Shuai Peng bt Maria Vento-Kabchi 6-1, 6-2. First round: Justine Henin-Hardenne bt Iveta Benesova 7-5, 4-6, 6-1; Julia Schruff bt Denisa Chladkova 1-6, 7-5, 6-4; Gisela Dulko bt Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-4; Dally Randriantefy bt Nathalie Dechy 7-5, 6-1; Anna Smashnova bt Jelena Kostanic 6-3, 6-2; Dinara Safina bt Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-4; Elena Likhovtseva bt Sandra Kloesel 7-5, 7-6(0); Kim Clijsters bt Yuliana Fedak 6-1, 6-0; Maria Kirilenko bt Fabiola Zuluaga 6-3, 6-1; Jelena Jankovic bt Tzipora Obziler 6-3, 6-3; Meghann Shaughnessy bt Libuse Prusova 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(0).

At Rabat, Morocco (Grand Prix SAR): First round: Emilie Loit bt Sybille Bammer 7-6(5), 6-3; Michaela Pastikova bt Maria Elena Camerin 6-2, 6-4; Na Li bt Nicole Pratt 6-0, 6-0; Jelena Dokic bt Lubomira Kurhajcova 6-2, 6-2; Tathiana Garbin bt Ludmila Cervanova 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-2; Maureen Drake bt Adriana Serra Zanetti 6-2, 6-2; Yan Zi bt Shikha Uberoi 6-4, 6-2; Zheng Jie bt Catalina Castano 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. — Agencies

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