MILAN, Italy, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Switzerland's Roger Federer opened defense of his title at the Milan Indoor tennis event Tuesday with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 triumph over Australian Open quarterfinalist Stefan Koubek of Austria.
Afterwards, the second seed said he is focused on qualifying for the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.
"I want to be in the top 10 and I'm looking forward to playing well at Indian Wells and Miami," said Federer, who captured his second career title earlier this month at Sydney, Australia. "I also want to make the Masters and go a step further in the Grand Slams and Masters Series events."
Fourth seed Jan-Michael Gambill was knocked out in the first round by Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. It was Schalken's first win in six tries against the American, who defeated him in the second round of this event last year.
"It's the best he's played against me," Gambill said. "But I feel that my game is getting back. I feel that I'm playing 100 percent better than at the Australian Open. Next week, I'm going to Hawaii for eight days to train really hard for the rest of the season."
Schalken's next opponent is Brazil's Andre Sa, who outlasted Italian qualifier Cristiano Caratti, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
In other matches involving unseeded players, Italy's Davide Sanguinetti eliminated German qualifier Christian Vinck, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, Michel Kratchovil of Switzerland swept past Andrea Gaudenzi of Italy, 6-2, 6-2, and Italian wild card Stefano Galvani rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph over French qualifier Nicolas Thomann.
Top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain makes his season debut Wednesday against France's Julien Boutter. Ferrero finished 2001 as the world's fifth-ranked player but withdrew from the adidas International in Sydney earlier this month due to a knee injury.