Andy Roddick Retires After Losing to Juan Martin del Potro at US Open

Tim KeeneyContributor ISeptember 5, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05:  Andy Roddick of the United States returns a shot against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their men's singles fourth round match on Day Ten of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Andy Roddick was ousted from the U.S. Open on Wednesday night after losing to Juan Martin del Potro, 7-6(1), 6-7(4), 2-6, 4-6.

And just like that, the marvelous career of the 30-year-old American, who announced last week this would be his last tournament, has come to an end. 

Before we take a look at Roddick's final professional match, it only seems right to take a quick glance back at what should be a Hall of Fame career.

In November of 2003, just a few months after he won his first career major at this very tournament in New York, Roddick climbed to No. 1 in the world rankings. He was just 21 years old, making him the youngest American to hold the rank since computer rankings began in 1973.

 Unfortunately for Roddick, he was hitting his prime at the same time as a couple of guys named Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. More of a result of Federer constantly being around, Roddick was never able to capture another major, although he did it make it back to the finals in New York once and at Wimbledon three times.

Nevertheless, a career record of 612-212 and 32 singles titles are hardly things to scoff at.

But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and Del Potro made sure of that during Wednesday's fourth-round match. 

The young Argentine was a true professional in this tough situation and deserves loads of credit.

After Roddick dominated the first-set tiebreak following the night-long rain delay, it seemed he had all the momentum—not to mention the crowd—on his side.

But Del Potro steadied himself and only continued to get stronger as the match went on.

He won the second-set tiebreak after neither player was able to break the other then broke Roddick twice, struck 16 winners (to just three unforced errors) and controlled the serve to take a dominant third set before controlling the fourth and final set. 

As the match narrowed down, Roddick just wouldn't let his last emotional (emotional doesn't really begin to describe the speech he made following the match, which likely left no dry eyes in the house) match in front of a packed crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium end.

Facing match point, he reeled off three-straight fired-up points and got multiple standing ovations to live for another game. 

The Argentine was just too much, though, as he held his final serve to put away the legendary American. 

Juan Martin del Potro, who won the 2009 U.S. Open and made it to three major quarterfinals this year, now faces the tall task of going up against Novak Djokovic