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On Thursday, Aug. 30—on his 30th birthday—Andy Roddick decided to call it a day.
He called a special press conference, announcing to all the world that the 2012 U.S. Open would be his last in professional tennis.
Roddick turned pro in the year 2000, playing constantly on tour for the past 12 years.
Since the very beginning, at age 18, Roddick has been blowing players off the court with his rocket serves—his signature stroke.
The highest point of his very successful career came in 2003 when Roddick captured the U.S. Open, defeating Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final.
By the end of the year, that win helped catapult him to the No. 1 ranking at the age of 21.
Once Sampras retired in 2002 and with the aging of superstar Andre Agassi, the American public immediately looked to Roddick to become the next great American tennis star.
Starting in 2003, Roddick became the symbol of U.S. tennis.
Accepting this role as the standard bearer of men’s tennis in the United States, Roddick did everything in his power to succeed.
In his last tournament, Roddick upended fellow American Rhyne Williams 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of this year's Open.
After that match, Roddick prepared to face teenager Bernard Tomic of Australian on Friday night at Arthur Ashe. Friends, family and fans prepared for the inevitable last match but Roddick was not ready to leave.
Roddick defeated Tomic in straight sets to move on to the third round, played on Sunday. There, Roddick defeated Italian Fabio Fognini in four sets, winning 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.
Enjoying his final moments in the sun, in the fourth round, Roddick faced Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the No. 7 seed. It was Roddick's final match which he lost 7-6, 6-7, 2-6, 4-6.
The applause thundered as Roddick left Arthur Ashe for the last time as a professional tennis player.