Roddick’s career ends in loss to Del Potro

Roddick said an emotional goodbye to the crowd after his match.
MIKE STOBE/GETTY IMAGES

Andy Roddick fought back tears as he addressed the crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium following the final tennis match of his career Wednesday.

But don’t feel too bad for the guy. He has supermodel wife Brooklyn Decker to go home to.

“I’m not ignorant to the fact that [tennis] is a huge part of me and that I won’t miss it; of course I will,” Roddick said following his 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 loss to Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. “I’m not pretending like there aren’t going to be hard days.

“But, you know, I feel pretty settled in the decision and I feel content and happy with it.”

Roddick is the last American man to win a Grand Slam singles title, having won the 2003 U.S. Open. Since that time, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have eclipsed him — and just about everyone else — winning 29 of the last 30 majors.

“I think again it’s amazing that he’s done as well as he has because of the era that’s he s been in,” seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander said.

Roddick finished with 612 career wins, 32 titles and more than $20 million in prize money. He reached No. 1 in the world at the age of 21 and shouldered heavy expectations following the Pete Sampras/Andre Agassi Era.

“He’s pulled the heaviest load of any American player since I’ve been playing,” Wilander said. “To follow Pete and Andre and Michael Chang and Jim Courier and John [McEnroe] and Jimmy [Connors] before them.”

Connors, Roddick’s former coach, tweeted: “Andy, my friend — you are a winner. Life goes on. Live it to the fullest.”

Roddick said he informed his wife and several close friends of his plans before the tournament. He then announced his plans last Thursday, his 30th birthday.

“I woke up one of the days and Brook was out running an errand and I kind of had an hour and a half to myself, and I was just walking back and forth,” Roddick said. “Then I kind of started texting her frantically and telling her I need to chat.

“Saying it out loud was the hardest part.”

Asked if he planned to celebrate his retirement, Roddick, known throughout his career for his quick wit and dry sense of humor, said, “I’m probably not going to be opposed to a beer or 10.”

Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter @AdamZagoria for coverage of the U.S. Open all tournament long.



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