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Tennis: Russia's Safin Advance to  Third Round of Monte Carlo Masters

Australian Open tennis champion Marat Safin of Russia has reached the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters clay-court tennis tournament.

Safin ousted Cyril Saulnier of France in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.

Meanwhile, defending champion and sixth seed Guillermo Coria of Argentina defeated Frenchman Thierry Ascione in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Coria, the runner-up at last year's French Open, next takes on Spain's Alberto Martin, a straight-set winner over Jean-Rene Lisnard of France (6-1, 6-2).

Also Wednesday 18-year-old Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal defeated Xavier Malisse of Belgium (6-0, 6-3). Later, world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland takes on Albert Montanes of Spain.

The clay-court tournament is one of several events players are using to prepare for the second major tournament of the year, the French Open, which starts May 23 in Paris.

Some information for this report provided by AP.