NEW YORK – Tearful Andy Roddick said goodbye to the US Open, New York and his career on Wednesday, September 5 in an emotional Flushing Meadows fourth-round defeat to Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro.
The 30-year-old, the last American man to win a Grand Slam event when he claimed the US Open in 2003, had already said this would be the last tournament of a 12-year career which yielded 32 titles and $20 million in prize money.
It also brought him the world number one spot as well as three heartbreaking Wimbledon runner-up finishes, before his prospects of a permanent place at the top table were swept away by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“I’ve loved every minute of it — for the first time in my career I’m not sure what to say,” said Roddick, who was in tears — as was model wife Brooklyn — as he addressed the crowd after his 6-7 (7/1), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-4 loss.
“I appreciate your support along the way. I know I certainly haven’t made it easy for you at times.”
Del Potro, Murray advances
Seventh-seeded Del Potro, the champion in 2009, booked a Thursday quarter-final date with defending champion Novak Djokovic.
“It was a really tough moment for me and for him. Last point of his life. The crowd was amazing,” said Del Potro, who also defeated another former US Open winner, Marat Safin, in the Russian’s last career match in Paris in 2009.
British third seed Andy Murray reached a second successive US Open semi-final after Croatia’s Marin Cilic squandered a set and 5-1 lead to lose their quarter-final 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-0.
Murray won 15 of the last 18 games and goes on to face either world number one Federer, the five-time champion who beat him in the 2008 final, or Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych for a place in Sunday’s championship match.
It was Murray’s seventh win in eight meetings with 12th-seeded Cilic, whose only victory over the Briton came in the fourth round in New York in 2009.
But after twice serving for the second set, the 23-year-old Cilic’s game fell to pieces and he won just three more games.
“I’ve had a lot of tough matches — everyone goes through them. We’ve seen Rafa, Novak and Roger struggle here,” said Murray.
“There is pressure on you to perform well, expectations are high and sometimes you’re nervous.”
Federer aims high
Top seed Federer, who has never lost a night match at the Open in 21 outings, and is playing in a 34th successive Grand Slam quarter-final, is bidding to become the first six-time champion in 87 years.
He is also attempting and make a ninth straight semi-final.
Serb second seed Djokovic was leading Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-1, 3-1 when the 18th-seeded Swiss retired after complaining of dizziness and handed Djokovic a 14th successive Grand Slam quarter-final place.
His tie against Wawrinka had been held over from Tuesday because of rain with the world number two ahead 2-0 in the first set.
“It was a difficult situation for both of us with the rain yesterday. We were here for 10 or 11 hours, warmed-up and then stopped. It was hard to get ready for a match that way,” said Djokovic, the 25-year-old Australian Open champion.
Djokovic has reached his sixth successive US Open quarter-final by dropping just 20 games in four rounds.
“I’m happy with my performances. I played well against a quality opponent and I wish him a quick recovery,” added the Serb, who played his match in front of just a few hundred fans on the 10,000-capacity Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Wawrinka has now lost 19 matches in a row against top-10 players.
Djokovic’s fellow Serb, eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic, reached his second successive US Open quarter-final.
Tipsarevic brushed past German 19th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 and goes on to face Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer for a place in the semi-finals. – Agence-France Presse
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