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Tennis: Fourth seed Ferrer cruises into second round of Australian Open

Published on Jan 14, 2013 6:17 PM
Spain's David Ferrer looks (right) shakes hands after his victory against Belgium's Olivier Rochus (left) on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 14, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Spain's fourth seed David Ferrer, coming off a career-best tennis season, eased past Belgian Olivier Rochus into the second round at the Australian Open on Monday.

Ferrer, elevated to the No. 4 seeding following the withdrawal of last year's finalist Rafael Nadal, had few problems putting away the 126th-ranked Belgian, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in 1hr 50min on Hisense Arena.

The super-fit Spaniard will now take on American Tim Smyczek in the second round.

The consistent Ferrer, who lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in last year's quarter-finals and reached the semi-finals in 2011, led last year's ATP Tour with seven titles in eight finals to finish the year at No. 5.

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