On an emotion-filled afternoon that morphed into a shocker of an evening, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer both bid farewell to Flushing Meadows.
Roddick is leaving for good, a moment he knew would come this week. Federer is presumably gone only until next year, though the timing of his 2012 US Open exit was unexpected.
Roddick lost 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 to No. 7 seed Juan Martin del Potro to bring the curtain down on his career Wednesday — an ending that came, fittingly, on the court where he won his only Grand Slam title, in 2003.
Federer fell 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who improved to 4-3 in his last seven matches against the 17-time Grand Slam champion, ending Federer’s string of US Open semifinal appearances at eight, much the way he halted Federer’s streak of 23 straight trips to major semifinals back in 2010 at Wimbledon.
Roddick lingered over his final official session with the reporters. He said it was fun to be in Arthur Ashe Stadium, listening to the fans spur him on with cheers of “Let’s go Andy” — and to play tennis simply for tennis’ sake.
“It wasn’t about ranking points or paychecks or anything else,” Roddick said. “This week I felt like I was 12 years old, playing in a park. It was extremely innocent. That was fun. I enjoyed it.”
Last week, Roddick used the occasion of his 30th birthday to announce the US Open would be his last tournament as a pro.
Paes-Stepanek enter semis
Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek steamrolled into the semifinals, defeating Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek in a rain-affected men’s doubles quarterfinal.
The fifth seeds, who led 6-2, 1-0 when rain stopped play on Tuesday, wrapped up the match on Wednesday by winning the second set 6-4.
The Indo-Czech pair meet Spain’s sixth seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez for a place in the final.