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Roddick heads into retirement with defeat to Del Potro

ESPN staff
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Andy Roddick waves his racket in frustration © PA Photos
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The curtain came down on Andy Roddick's brilliant career on the stage of his finest achievement, as he was beaten by Juan Martin Del Potro to head into retirement.

Roddick won the 2003 US Open on Arthur Ashe Stadium and it witnessed his final match as a professional, as he bowed out in the fourth round with a 6-7 7-6 6-2 6-4 defeat to Del Potro. The American announced last week that this would be his final tournament and after a couple of brilliant wins delayed his retirement, he bowed out to the No. 7 seed.

It started so well for Roddick, who returned following an overnight rain delay to take the opening set tiebreak. He came out like a train, hitting winners for fun, chipping and charging and totally dominating Del Potro.

Del Potro shook off the setback and the pair held serve for 12 games to take the second set into a breaker. Roddick, on this occasion, found Del Potro too strong. The Argentinian mixed things up and used the drop shot to tremendous effect, bringing Roddick to the net before passing him at will.

After dropping the second set, Roddick's form dipped. He lost his opening service game of the third to love and Del Potro powered through to take a grip on the match.

The crowd on Ashe attempted to raise Roddick for one final push and he worked a couple of break points at the start of the fourth. The scenes were reminiscent of some of the great night matches on Ashe with the big gallery living every point, but Del Potro blocked out the emotion to hold.

And the final call came in the fifth game as Roddick sent a forehand over the baseline to hand a break to Del Potro. Which came to stunned silence on Ashe.

Roddick could not find a response, although he thrilled the crowd when saving match points and forcing Del Potro to serve out. That he did and the winner of 32 career titles bowed out to a standing ovation.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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