A tearful Andy Roddick said goodbye to the US Open, New York and his career in an emotional Flushing Meadows fourth-round defeat to Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro.
The 30-year-old, the last American man to win a grand slam title when he won the US Open in 2003, had already said this would be the last tournament of a 12-year career which yielded 32 trophies.
It also brought him the world number one spot, as well as three heart-breaking Wimbledon runner-up finishes, before his prospects at a permanent place at the top table were swept away by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
"I've loved every minute of it - for the first time in my career I'm not sure what to say," said Roddick, who was in tears as was wife Brooklyn in the stands while he addressed the crowd after his 6-7 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4 loss.
"I appreciate your support along the way. I know I certainly haven't made it easy for you at times. The one thing I'm not scared of about retirement are the people that I go home to," he said.
Roddick's farewell on the Arthur Ashe Stadium drew an instant response on Twitter.
"I shed a tear for you. Thank you for all the years of commitment to excellence. Going to miss it," tweeted golf superstar Tiger Woods.
Three-time women's champion Serena Williams tweeted: "@andyroddick I miss my friend already."
Seventh-seeded Del Potro, the champion in 2009, booked a quarter-final date with defending champion Novak Djokovic, the Serbian second seed who advanced 6-4, 6-1, 3-1 when Swiss 18th seed Stanislas Wawrinka retired.
The other side of the draw is likely to have an advantage as these players are already at the semi-finals stages.
Andy Murray reached the last four in the US Open for the second successive year after Marin Cilic squandered a set and 5-1 lead to lose their quarter-final 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-0.
Third seed Murray goes on to face either world number one Roger Federer, the five-time champion who beat him in the 2008 final, or Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych for a place in the final.
This was Murray's seventh in eight meetings with 12th-seeded Cilic, whose only victory over the Briton came in the fourth round in New York in 2009 when he raced to a straight-sets triumph.
But after twice serving for the second set, the 23-year-old Cilic's game fell to pieces, being broken in the fifth and seventh games of the third set.
Murray, the Olympic champion and Wimbledon runner-up to Federer this year, was quickly 4-0 ahead in the fourth set as Cilic, who came into the match having spent over three hours more on court than the Scot, wilted.
Murray broke three more times in the fourth set with the Croat winning just four points on his own serve.
Cilic ended the three-hour encounter having won just three more games from 5-1 ahead in the second set.
Djokovic reached his 14th successive grand slam quarter-final in a match held over from Wednesday (AEST) because of rain with the world number two ahead 2-0 in the first set.
Wawrinka had already complained of feeling unwell at the end of the third game of the third set before he called it quits.
"It was a difficult situation for both of us with the rain yesterday. We were here for 10 or 11 hours, warmed-up and then stopped. It was hard to get ready for a match that way," said Djokovic, the 25-year-old Australian Open champion.
Djokovic has reached his sixth successive US Open quarter-final by dropping just 20 games in four rounds.
"I'm happy with my performances. I played well against a quality opponent and I wish him a quick recovery," added the Serb, who played his match in front of just a few hundred fans on the 10,000-capacity Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Wawrinka, who was bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the second time, having made the last eight in 2010, has now lost 19 matches in a row against top-10 players.
Djokovic's fellow Serb, eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic, fresh from a Twitter stir where he reignited the equal prize money row, reached his second successive US Open quarter-final.
Tipsarevic brushed past German 19th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 and goes on to face Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer for a place in the semi-finals.
Tipsarevic won the last time he met Ferrer at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"He is definitely a bulldog, I will tell you that. He runs down balls which maybe only Rafa can make from all the guys on tour," said the Serb.
AFPTags: sport, tennis, united-states First posted September 06, 2012 07:58:18