Rochus beaten in Auckland final

Olivier Rochus has lost the final of this year’s Heineken Open to David Ferrer. Top-seeded Ferrer took the Heineken Open singles title for the third time with a two sets (6-3, 6-4) win against the un-seeded Belgian on Saturday.

World No. 5 Ferrer geared up for the Australian Open with an impressive performance, dropping only one set in four matches to add this year's title -- the 12th of his career -- to victories in Auckland in 2007 and last year.

Rochus, who reached the Auckland final for the second time seven years after the first, played three three-setters en-routes to the title match. He was also runner-up in 2005.

Ferrer served strongly and won his opening service game to love. The second game had gone to deuce on Rochus's serve when the first of two lengthy rain delays occurred.

After returning, Rochus double faulted to drop his serve and Ferrer served for an early 3-0 lead.

The match went with serve until the ninth game, which was again interrupted by a rain break, and in which Ferrer saved a break point before recovering to take the first set in 45 minutes.
Ferrer broke Rochus in the opening game of the second set but the tenacious Belgian fought back, breaking Ferrer in the fourth game to level at 2-2.

The Spaniard broke again in the seventh game but had to save a further break point before gaining a 5-3 lead. He was then able to serve out the second set in 49 minutes.

Rochus expended every ounce of energy in trying to save the match, chasing down seemingly impossible returns, but was eventually overpowered.

The Belgian wasn't helped by the rain breaks that have plagued the tournament this week.

"It was the same for both of us," he said. "This week was not so easy with the weather but you have to get used to it. That's the life of a tennis player", Rochus said.