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Roddick, Agassi advance in Rome Masters


American tennis star Andy Roddick has improved to 7-0 on clay courts this season after a second round victory at the Rome Masters tournament in Italy.

The top-seeded Roddick scored a 6-4, 7-5 win today (Wednesday) over 2002 French Open winner Albert Costa. Roddick next takes on Costa's fellow-Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, a straight-set winner over Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland (7-6, 6-2).

In other action, 2004 French Open champion Gaston Gaudio of Argentina defeated Filippo Volandri of Italy in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-2. Gaudio takes on Spain's David Ferrer in the third round. Ferrer defeated 16th-seed Thomas Johansson of Sweden (6-3, 6-4).

Fourth seeded Tim Henman of Britain scored a straight-set win over Nicolas Massu of Chile, 6-3, 6-2. The British player faces Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty, who beat Julien Benneteau of France in straight sets (7-6, 6-0).

Sixth-seeded Andre Agassi of the United States reached the third round with a straight-set win over Richard Gasquet of France (6-2, 6-3). Agassi faces 12th-seeded Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, a three-set winner over Sebastien Grosjean of France (6-4, 3-6, 6-3).

French Open runner-up Guillermo Coria of Argentina, the ninth seed, breezed past Germany's Nicolas Kiefer, 6-1, 6-1. Luis Horna of Peru advanced with a three-set win over Andreas Seppi of Italy (2-6, 6-3, 6-4). Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic ousted Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina (6-4, 4-6, 6-1).

The clay-court tournament is one of the key warm-ups for the second major tournament of the year, the French Open, which starts later this month in Paris.

Some information for this report provided by AP

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