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By Erik Gudris

Juan Martin del Potro defeats Andy Roddick to send him into retirement from the ATP Tour (September 5, 2012) -- Though starting as a night match yesterday on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Andy Roddick's final match of his career ended during the waning hours of daylight on Day 10 of the U.S. Open.

Taking on Juan Martin Del Potro, Roddick's fourth-round encounter was suspended yesterday due to rain just as both men started a first-set tiebreak. Coming out on court this afternoon, it was clear Roddick was the more amped up of the two players as the match resumed. Roddick reeled off winners from both wings to romp through the tiebreak 7-1.

The second set ended up being a serving contest with both men holding with ease throughout. Forehand errors from Del Potro saw him pushed to deuce in one of his service games, but he eventually held for 4-3 and soon enough after a few more holds from both, another tiebreak was at hand.

But it was a crucial double fault from Roddick early in the break that the gave the 2009 U.S. Open champion the early edge. Roddick recovered to pull within two points of Del Potro, but it was a massive forehand return that gave the Argentine the tiebreak and the set.

Del Potro broke Roddick at love to start the third set and from there Del Potro won 14 of the next 15 points as a weary looking Roddick appeared to have lost some of fire from the first two sets. Roddick held serve for 1-4 but Del Potro had no trouble closing out the set 6-2.

A loud roar from those in the stadium began the fourth set where Roddick attempted to make his last stand. After holding his initial service game, Roddick found himself with multiple break point chances only to have the steady play of Del Potro see him through what would be his final challenge of the match. Roddick double faulted to give Del Potro the lead for 3-2 and soon enough Roddick found himself down 3-5.

Roddick appeared to be on his way to an easy service game but after being up 30-0, it was then match point for Del Potro. Roddick saved it with a massive serve and then held for 4-5 with a backhand volley winner.

With fans on their feet applauding during the changeover and Roddick himself looking emotional, Del Potro stepped up to the line to serve out the match. After Roddick missed his first two shots and then Del Potro hit a winning passing shot, it was 40-0. A final forehand sent long from Roddick ended the match and his career as Del Potro advanced to the quarterfinals 6-7(1), 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4.

Both men embraced at net as the entire stadium crowd gave Roddick a standing ovation. Del Potro gestured to Roddick and acknowledged the historic moment.

"Thank you very much for the respect to me. I know it is a very special moment for you and Andy also." said Del Potro to the crowd.

When Roddick walked up to ESPN's Tom Rinaldi, Rinaldi simply told Roddick the mic was his.

"This may be the first time in my career where I'm not sure what to say," said Roddick who later thanked his parents, wife Brooklyn Decker, his team and his late agent Ken Meyerson.

"I love you guys with all my heart. Hopefully I'll come back to this place someday and see you all again."

Roddick ends his career having won the U.S. Open in 2003, attaining the No. 1 ranking and winning 32 career ATP titles.

(Photo Credit: Andy Kentla)


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