Rome:Andy Roddick was more than satisfied after opening his clay-court season with a win over 2004 French Open champion Gaston Gaudio.
It didn't matter to the American that Gaudio's ranking has fallen to No 71 and that the Argentine is considering retirement.
"I don't think he's long on confidence right now. But at the same time, this is the most challenging surface for me," Roddick said after his 6-1, 7-6 (8) win in the second round of the Rome Masters.
"If there was a time to beat him and be a little bit proud of it, it's on this surface," he added.
Also on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal overcame stiff resistance from Italian wild card Daniele Bracciali on his way to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Nadal extended his clay-court winning streak to 73 matches and is attempting to become the first player to win this tournament three consecutive times.
Fourth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat Davis Cup teammate Marat Safin 7-6 (4), 7-5, and fifth-seeded Novak Djokovic, who won his third title of the season at Estoril on Sunday, rallied to beat Robin Soderling 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Also, Nicolas Massu of Chile upset ninth-seeded James Blake 7-6 (3), 7-5, Filippo Volandri of Italy eliminated 13th-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 and Gilles Simon of France beat Guillermo Canas 7-6 (4), 6-4.
Canas is a former top-10 player whose ranking dropped during a 15-month doping suspension.
He reached the final in Barcelona, Spain, last month, losing to Nadal, and beat Roger Federer twice on hard courts earlier this year.
Nadal, Roddick and the other top six seeded players received first-round byes.
This tournament is an important clay-court warm-up for the French Open, which begins May 27.
Roddick will next face Juan Ignacio Chela, while Nadal will next face 15th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, who the Spaniard lost to on hard courts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, earlier this year and at the US Open last year.