Andy Roddick emotional in farewell after U.S. Open loss ends career
Flushing Meadows, NY, United States (4E Sports) – An emotional Andy Roddick bid his farewell Wednesday after losing in the fourth round of the U.S. Open against Juan Martin del Potro, a match that signaled the end of the American superstar’s brilliant career.
The former No. 1 Roddick announced last week he would end his tennis career at the 2012 U.S. Open.
Roddick, the last American man to capture a major to this very day, turned 30 last Thursday, on the day of his announcement. Roddick had been dealing with a shoulder problem.
The power-serving Roddick, who had never lost a four-round match here at the U.S. Open (he was 8-0) during his prime, snuck out a first-set tiebreak against del Potro, but his towering Argentine foe bounced back to take a second-set tiebreak.
Though renowned for his power serve, which usually clocks at around 130-150 mph, often resulting in unhittable serves (aces), the exchange appeared to have sapped a lot of energy from Roddick. It enabled del Potro to ride on the momentum in the next two sets.
In the fourth serving at 3-5, Roddick saved a match point and eventually held, but the American slugger could not find an answer to del Potro’s thundering groundstrokes and consistent serves later in the set.
Del Potro sent the crowd favourite Roddick packing with a final blistering forehand, which drew a late, flailing forehand from Roddick that flew wide and sent the Argentine into the quarters with a 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 win.
In his final outing, Roddick swatted 20 aces, but his serve was broken four times by del Potro.
Roddick is 43-12 in Flushing.
Del Potro, who improved 4-1 lifetime against Roddick, joined the fans in saluting the American star player, who became emotional as he addressed the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium one final time.
“For the first time in my career, I’m not sure what to say,” a tearful Roddick said. “Since I was a kid, I’ve been coming to this tournament. I felt lucky just to sit where all of you are sitting today, to watch this game and to see the champions who have come and gone and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
“It has been a road with a lot of ups, a lot of downs and a lot of great moments. I’ve appreciated your support along the way. I know I certainly haven’t made it easy for you at times, but I really do appreciate it and love you guys with all my heart,” Roddick added.
The Nebraska native/Texas resident Roddick made a brief appearance at No. 1 in men’s tennis ranking following his lone Grand Slam title at the 2003 U.S. Open.
Roddick appeared in four other major finals, losing to Roger Federer each time. He was the 2006 runner-up to the Swiss Maestro in New York.
Roddick also battled Federer in three Wimbledon finals, including their 2009 epic five-set clash at the All England Club, where the Swiss star went on to prevail with a 30-game fifth set.
Roddick concludes his career with 32 tournament titles in 52 finals. He is also the second-winningest American in Davis Cup singles history, behind only the legendary John McEnroe.