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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Safin Crushes French Teen in Monaco

ReutersSafin, right, walking past Gasquet during the Russian's win Wednesday in Monaco.
MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Marat Safin brought 15-year-old Richard Gasquet crashing back to earth Wednesday when he crushed the French player 6-4, 6-1 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters tournament.

Gasquet became an overnight hero in France when he became the youngest qualifier for a Masters event and then beat Argentine clay-court specialist Franco Squillari in Monday's first round.

But former world No. 1 Safin was in no mood to play second fiddle to the prodigy and squeezed the spirit out of him on center court.

"It was a difficult match, though ... he has beautiful shots," Safin said afterward.

Gasquet put up a fight in the first set, but Safin's power and experience saw him run away with the second.

The sixth seed will next meet either Switzerland's Roger Federer or Argentine David Nalbandian in the third round.

Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson reached the third round by beating Stefan Koubek 6-4, 6-1 Wednesday.

Andy Roddick also advanced with a 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-3) win over Bohdan Ulihrach.

The eighth-seeded Johansson is enjoying his best ever performance at Monte Carlo, the first major clay-court tournament of the season. He failed to win a match in his five previous appearances here.

The Swede captured his first Grand Slam title at Melbourne in January but hasn't won a title since.

Roddick's second win in his debut appearance here was a boost for the 10th-seeded American less than six weeks before the start of the French Open.

Two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja, seeded 13th, won his second-round match against Andrea Gaudenzi 6-3, 6-3, while 11th-seeded Jiri Novak defeated Nicolas Coutelot 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Last year's runner-up Hicham Arazi was beaten 6-1, 6-1 by Juan Ignacio Chela.

On Tuesday, U.S. Open champion Lleyton Hewitt exited the event in the first round, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Carlos Moya.

The Australian was the top-ranked player at the first major clay-court tournament of the season.

Tuesday's match was interrupted for more than an hour after the first set because of rain.

Also Tuesday, British fourth seed Tim Henman fought back from a set down to beat clay-court specialist Guillermo Coria 6-7 7-5 6-1.

 Anna Kournikova tried to prevent Conchita Martinez from posting a 30th birthday victory Tuesday at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, but lost momentum after a tight first set to give the Spaniard a 7-6 6-1 present. (Reuters, AP)