MILAN, Italy -- No. 3 seed Mario Ancic of Croatia,
seeking his first title on the ATP Tour, advanced to the second
round of the $421,000 Milan Indoors tennis tournament Tuesday.
Ancic, who took eventual champion Marat Safin to a fourth set in
the third round at the Australian Open, defeated Bohdan
Ulihrach of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 7-5.
Ancic reached the final here last year, losing in three sets to
Antony Dupuis of France, who is not entered this year.
The other two seeds in action also advanced as No. 4 Radek
Stepanek of the Czech Republic defeated Italian Daniele
Bracciali, 7-6 (3), 6-4; and No. 6 Rainer Schuettler of
Germany ousted 2002 champion Davide Sanguinetti, also from
Italy, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Stepanek is coming off his best career season, having climbed
to 37th in the rankings in 2004. He reached the final of the BNP Paribas
Masters in Paris, an ATP Masters Series event.
In matches involving unseeded players, Andreas Seppi defeated
fellow Italian Uros Vico, 6-2, 7-6 (3); Ukraine's Sergiy
Stakhovsky dispatched Belgium's Cristophe Rochus, 6-2, 6-3; and
Switzerland's Ivo Heuberger ousted Italian Giorgio Galimberti,
4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).