13 Jan 2012

Epic win for Belgian veteran

2:59 pm on 13 January 2012

Diminutive Belgian tennis veteran Olivier Rochus has overcome a cold, the weather and a much younger, bigger opponent to make the semi-finals of the Heineken tennis Open.

Rochus ended the impressive run of lanky French qualifier Benoit Paire in a rain-delayed quarter-final match in Auckland which spanned five hours.

Rochus headed off centre court a set up over Paire when the rain came, but the 22-year-old Paire came back to win the second set in a tiebreak and was 4-2 ahead in the third before Rochus stormed back to force a tiebreak and the epic win, 6-3 6-7 7-6.

It's the 30-year-old's third semi here and despite feeling under the weather, the shortest man in the tournament's enjoying the ride.

Olivier Rochus now plays former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in today's semi-finals, after Kohlschreiber upset second seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain in straight sets.