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Defeat spells end of Roddick's career
Andy Roddick's career has been brought to a close with defeat by Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth round of the US Open.
It was fitting that the American's final moments in tennis should be played out on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the court where he enjoyed his biggest success when he won the title in 2003.
They resumed after a rain delay in a first-set tie-break and Roddick dropped only one of the first seven points, but Del Potro levelled and from there he was in control. Roddick saved a match point to huge cheers from the patriotic crowd but it was not to be as the Argentinian won 6-7 (1/7) 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 6-4 to set up a last-eight meeting with second seed Novak Djokovic.
Roddick struggled to control his emotions towards the end of the match and was in floods of tears at the end as he addressed the crowd.
He said: "For the first time in my career I'm not sure what to say. I've loved every minute of it. I love you guys with all my heart. Hopefully I'll come back to this place someday and see you all again."
Roddick announced last week this would be his last tournament, giving him a few days to build up to the end, but when it came it was still tough for the 30-year-old to deal with.
Speaking to the press a bit later, he said: "It was tough. Once he got up in that match it was a different set of circumstances than my previous matches.
"Then you start thinking about how real it is and a lot of thoughts go through your head. You're thinking about matches you're playing when you're 12 or I was thinking about my mom driving me to practices all over the place.
"You just think about a million things. Then all of a sudden you have to play a point against one of the best players in the world. It certainly was a mixed bag there at the end.
"Playing the last five games was pretty hard. Once I got down a break I could barely look at my box. I don't know what the emotions are. I'm a little overwhelmed right now. I normally feel like I can grasp things pretty quickly and clearly. I certainly don't feel that way right now."