This is not a new position for Roddick. He has spent much of his career being the lone American hope at Grand Slam tournaments. He was the last American to win any Grand Slam when he won the U.S. Open in 2003.
With Roddick having announced his retirement in the middle of the tournament, any sort of deep run would be extra special. We know that the next match he loses will mark the end of his career.
Roddick's opponent in the fourth round is a man he can compete with—world No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro. A fellow one-slam wonder, del Potro won the U.S. Open in 2009. The two players have met four times, all on hard courts. Each player has won once in straight sets, while del Potro has won twice in decisive third sets.
If Roddick can pull off the victory, he will reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the ninth time in his long career. If he loses, then we will likely see eight contenders from eight different countries that are not the United States.
This has become a trend with the international revolution pushing American men's tennis to the fringe. There is also a chance that Serbian Janko Tipsarevic will join star countryman Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.
Nevertheless, those in New York hoping to see a home country boy contend for the title will have to put their faith in one last run by Andy Roddick. He has been the face of American tennis for the past nine years, and he will continue as such for one more week.
Update: Mardy Fish forfeits due to health reasons, so now Roddick is officially the lone American.