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