Published: Friday August 31, 2012 MYT 7:45:00 AM
Updated: Friday August 31, 2012 MYT 8:24:14 AM
Roddick to quit, Tsonga crashes out of US Open
NEW YORK - Andy Roddick announced his retirement on his 30th birthday Thursday while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, also blown away by the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic whirlwind, crashed out of the US Open.
Roddick, a former world number one, who won his only Grand Slam title in New York in 2003, admitted that his level was so far behind tennis' big three that he had no desire to be a passenger and will quit once the US Open is over.
"I have decided that this is going to be my last tournament," said Roddick, who is guaranteed an emotional reception on Arthur Ashe Court on Friday night when he plays Australia's Bernard Tomic for a place in the last 32.
"I feel it is the right time to do it. These other guys have gotten really, really good and I'm not interested in just existing on tour. I don't want to disrespect the game by coasting home."
Roddick, whose ranking is now down at 22 in the world, was the 2006 runner-up at the US Open losing to Roger Federer. He also lost to the Swiss great in the Wimbledon finals of 2004, 2005 and 2009.
That last All England Club defeat, an epic match which ended 16-14 in the fifth set, was Roddick's last memorable campaign and he has not made the quarter-finals of a major for three years.
French fifth seed Tsonga, who reached the quarter-finals in 2011, slumped to a shock 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 second-round defeat to unheralded Slovak Martin Klizan.
The flamboyant, shot-making Frenchman had come into the final Grand Slam event of the season in a fog of injury and form worries, summed up by having to skip the Cincinnati event after cutting his knee on a fire hydrant.
"Today I was not in good shape. I didn't play good tennis," said the 27-year-old Tsonga.
"It seemed like I couldn't hit the ball hard enough to put my opponent out of position. I'm not a machine. Sometimes I'm tired; sometimes not. Sometimes in good shape; sometimes not."
Left-hander Klizan, the world 52, progressed to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time and will tackle 32nd seed Jeremy Chardy of France.
Three-time women's champion Serena Williams won her 60th match at the US Open, advancing to the third round with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
Williams, the Wimbledon and Olympic champion, will next face Russia's Ekaterina Makarova, who beat her at the Australian Open this year, for a berth in the last 16.
Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who was Wimbledon runner-up to Williams, almost suffered a fourth successive US Open second-round exit before fighting back from a set and 3-1 down to beat Spain's Carla Suarez-Navarro 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Radwanska goes on to face Serb 30th seed Jelena Jankovic, the 2008 runner-up, who made the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Spain's Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.
But the 23-year-old Pole endured a roller-coaster afternoon on the Grandstand court, slipping to a set and 3-1 down before reeling off 11 games in a row to take victory.
In a brutally one-sided final set, Suarez-Navarro won only eight points.
Elsewhere on Thursday, men's sixth seed Tomas Berdych eased past Estonia's Jurgen Zopp 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and faces America's Sam Querrey next.
Spanish men's 11th seed Nicolas Almagro fought back to beat Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 with the German's challenge undone by 62 unforced errors.
Japan's 17th seed Kei Nishikori also made the third round with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over American qualifier Tim Smyczek.
American 23rd seed Mardy Fish, a quarter-finalist in 2008, beat Russia's Nikolay Davydenko, a semi-finalist in 2006 and 2007, in a gruelling five-setter.
His 4-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 win was the 10th comeback victory from two sets-to-love down in the men's tournament this year.
Later Thursday, five-time US Open champion Roger Federer, bidding to become the first six-time US Open winner in the Open era, tackles 32-year-old German Bjorn Phau.
World number one Federer is playing in his 52nd straight Grand Slam event while Phau, the world 83, has never got beyond the second round of a major.
Two-time champion Venus Williams faces sixth seed, and 2011 semi-finalist, Angelique Kerber, just a month after the German knocked her out of the Olympics.
Kerber has won a tour-leading 54 matches in 2012 and also ended Serena Williams' 19-match win streak with a victory in the Cincinnati quarter-finals. - AFP