Nadal breezes past Rochus
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:14
Nadal, who reached the semi-finals in Melbourne for the first time last year, had never played the Belgian before and Rochus will be hoping it is a while before the pair square off again.
Rochus was no match for the world number one, who dominated from the baseline.
The first set took just 19 minutes as Nadal ripped into his work at breakneck speed.
Rochus put up more resistance in the second – the vocal Aussie crowd willing him to succeed and cheering loudly when he held his serve for the first time in the ninth game of the match.
But although the Belgian held serve for a second time to make it 3-2, Nadal took the next three games to wrap up the set.
It was a similar story in the third as Rochus suffered an early break, and although he once again clawed his way back to 3-2 he was always chasing.
And with Nadal in such a ruthless mood – he struck 47 winners to Rochus’ seven – his opponent never stood a chance.