Published: Thursday September 6, 2012 MYT 7:34:00 AM
Updated: Thursday September 6, 2012 MYT 8:05:20 AM
Tearful Roddick bows out, Djokovic into last eight
NEW YORK - Tearful Andy Roddick said goodbye to the US Open, New York and his career on Wednesday 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 title when he won the US Open in 2003, had already said this would be the last tournament of a 12-year career which yielded 32 trophies.
It also brought him the world number one spot, as well as three heart-breaking Wimbledon runner-up finishes, before his prospects at a permanent place at the top table were swept away by Roger Federer, Rafaal 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 wife Brooklyn in the stands while 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. The one thing I'm not scared of about retirement are the people that I go home to," he said.
Roddick's farewell on the Arthur Ashe Stadium drew an instant response on Twitter.
"I shed a tear for you. Thank you for all the years of commitment to excellence. Going to miss it," tweeted golf superstar Tiger Woods.
Three-time women's champion Serena Williams tweeted: "@andyroddick I miss my friend already."
Seventh-seeded Del Potro, the champion in 2009, booked a Thursday quarter-final date with defending champion Novak Djokovic, the Serbian second seed who advanced 6-4, 6-1, 3-1 when Swiss 18th seed Stanislas Wawrinka retired.
Djokovic reached his 14th successive Grand Slam quarter-final in a match held over from Tuesday because of rain with the world number two ahead 2-0 in the first set.
Wawrinka had already complained of feeling unwell at the end of the third game of the third set before he called it quits.
"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, who was bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the second time, having made the last eight in 2010, has now lost 19 matches in a row against top-10 players.
Djokovic's fellow Serb, eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic, fresh from a Twitter stir where he reignited the equal prize money row, 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.
Just days after criticising the entertainment value of women's tennis, and questioning why the likes of Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams didn't play five sets, Tipsarevic played in front of just a smattering of fans on the Grandstand.
The 28-year-old, who led 5-2 in the first set overnight before his fourth-round match also fell victim to the heavy New York rain, enjoyed his best Grand Slam performance at the US Open in 2011 when he reached the last eight.
But a knee injury forced him to retire in the fourth set against Djokovic.
Kohlschreiber, whose previous match against John Isner ended at a record-equalling late finish of 2:26 a.m. on Monday morning, committed 53 unforced errors.
Tipsarevic won the last time he met Ferrer at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"He is definitely a bulldog, I will tell you that. He runs down balls which maybe only Rafa can make from all the guys on tour," said the Serb.
On a bumper day of action, top seed Federer was taking on Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych for a place in the semi-finals.
Federer, bidding to become the first six-time champion in 87 years and make a ninth straight semi-final in New York, will meet either British third seed Andy Murray or Marin Cilic, the 12th-seeded Croat, for a place in the final.
Federer beat Murray in the 2008 US Open final. - AFP