Rochus closing on main draw
by Scott Spits
Friday, 14 January, 2005
Belgian Christophe Rochus is one step closer to again reaching the main draw for the men's singles at Melbourne Park after surviving the second day of qualifying for Australian Open 2005.
The 26-year-old, who is aiming to extend his record of at least reaching the field of 128 players every year since 2000
, defeated his second Austrian opponent in as many days to progress to a final qualifying clash with Italian Oliver Marach.
Rochus, younger brother of Olivier, enjoyed his best ever result at a Grand Slam event when reached the round of 16 at Melbourne Park in 2000. He has followed that performance with a third-round exit in 2001, second-round (2002), second-round (2003) and first-round last year.
On Friday, Rochus - the No.4 qualifying seed - had a 6-1 6-4 victory over Austrian Julian Knowle, a tour veteran whose best result at Melbourne Park was a second round exit in 2003.
There are 16 spots available to qualifiers in the main draw.