Andy Roddick delights the holiday crowd by putting on winning show
Monday 03 September 2012
For an American there is no place like the US Open at which to say farewell. Ten years ago Pete Sampras won his 14th Grand Slam title at his home Grand Slam tournament in what proved to be the last appearance of his career.
Andy Roddick was among the players Sampras beat en route to that triumph and this year it is the turn of the 30-year-old from Nebraska to take his bow. Roddick announced on Friday that he would be retiring at the end of this tournament and would love nothing more than to leave in a blaze of glory.
It is hard to imagine that winning the title would be within Roddick's fading powers, but the 2003 champion booked his place in the last 16 yesterday with a resounding 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Italy's Fabio Fognini. Forty-eight hours after demolishing Bernard Tomic in front of a raucous night crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Roddick had a Labor Day weekend audience jumping out of their seats at regular intervals with a true showman's performance.
The excitement reached a peak in the tie-break at the end of the second set. At 1-1 Roddick produced a superb forehand winner down the line, upon which he raised his arms in the air in celebration. With the crowd going wild, the American followed up with two successive aces and went on to win the tie-break 7-1.
Roddick thanked the crowd for their support afterwards: "The last couple of days since I said what I was going to do has been very humbling. I really appreciate all of the support." He added: "I love this place and I love all of you. I'm having a blast."
If Roddick is to make further progress, nevertheless, he will need to do so at the expense of the 2009 champion here. His next opponent will be Juan Martin del Potro, who beat his fellow Argentine, Leonardo Mayer, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6.
Another old stager, Lleyton Hewitt, was unable to repeat his five-set heroics against Gilles Muller in the previous round and was beaten 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 by David Ferrer, the world No 5, after a match that lasted more than three hours. Ferrer saved five set points in the tie-break at the end of the first set and recovered well after Hewitt had levelled the match by taking the second set.
Novak Djokovic reached the last 16 with a crushing 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over France's Julien Benneteau and has yet to drop a set here this year.
Hector Bellerin: How saying no to Barcelona paid off for Bellerin - and Arsenal
Paul Scholes column: With Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
'I am the president of everybody': What Sepp Blatter said after winning re-election as Fifa president
Fifa bomb threat: Swiss authorities confirm a bomb threat has been made at the Fifa Congress
Michel Platini to consider pulling England and other Uefa members out of the World Cup if Sepp Blatter wins Fifa election
- 2 Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
- 4 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
- 5 Kate Moss on the naked Calvin Klein shoot and the obsession that ended her relationship
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote