In another first-round match, Igor Andreev of Russia rallied to oust sixth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4), while fifth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Julien Benneteau of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the second round.
Fresh from winning his second career title in Moscow on Sunday, Tipsarevic broke Rochus twice in the first set and served for the match at 5-2 up in the second. But Rochus, ranked 70th, broke him twice to level at 5-all.
The 13-ranked Serb then broke for the third time and served for the match. He double-faulted on his first match point at 40-30 before closing the match on his second serve.
"The match was really tough, especially toward the end," said Tipsarevic, who has reached the quarterfinals here twice. "I came here with a great deal of confidence. I was playing so well that I think I got a little bit arrogant (at 5-2 up), thinking that I do not have to work for my points. Olivier Rochus is one of the worst players to play against if your serve is not put in too well."
Youzhny, who won the event in 2004 and was runner-up last season, broke twice in the deciding set for a 5-2 lead. He then saved a break point before wrapping up the victory on his second match point.
"It was a tough match and a very uneven one," Youzhny said. "I'm happy I was able to concentrate in the third set and win."
The 117th-ranked Andreev saved a match point while serving at 5-4 down in the decider to force a tiebreaker. Serving at 5-4 up in the tiebreaker, Andreev landed a precise backhand down the line to earn two match points and then served a winner to close the match.
Andreev said he was struggling with his first serve in the first set.
"But it could have gone either way in the tiebreaker," said Andreev, who lost in a third-set tiebreaker in the first round at the Kremlin Cup last week. "Last week I lost (in a tiebreaker). I decided to play more aggressively and risk today and I won."
With the victory, Andreev, a former top-20 player, ended a five-match losing streak on hard courts.
"It was a very close match," Granollers said. "We both played good but in the tiebreaker Igor was better than me. When you are in the tiebreaker, the match can be decided by two points."