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Quintessential Andy

Andy Roddick waves to fans after losing in four sets to Juan Martin del Potro.

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Andy Roddick waves to fans after losing in four sets to Juan Martin del Potro.

NEW YORK — In his last match, Andy Roddick was perfect Andy Roddick.

He played so hard that sweat dripped off his cap, making a watery river of effort. He was twitchy and always moving, hardly able to sit down even during changeovers. He earned a quick advantage over a higher-seeded opponent but then started to slow. Because after the serve, his options slowly went away.

And after Roddick lost his final match, to seventh-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (4-7), 2-6, 4-6, Roddick, seeded 20th, swiped tears from his eyes. Then he made everyone laugh.

Asked how he would like to be remembered, Roddick answered quickly: "I want everyone to look back and think that I was awesome." He was laughing.

A week ago today, when he turned 30, Roddick said his career would be finished when he lost at the U.S. Open, where he won his only major title, in 2003.

The high point of his final match — suspended Tuesday because of rain with Roddick leading 1-0 in the first-set tiebreak — might have been a skipping forehand winner that gave him the set and prompted Roddick to pump his fists and yell, "Come on." But after that Roddick began rubbing his right shoulder, which he suggests will need surgery. And he began having trouble withstanding the easy power of 2009 Open champion del Potro.

Roddick finishes with 32 titles in all and a record of 612-213. He led the United States to the 2007 Davis Cup championship and was runnerup in four other majors, three times at Wimbledon and once at the U.S. Open, losing each time to Roger Federer. "I don't know what the emotions are," he said. "I'm a little overwhelmed. Normally I feel like I can grasp things pretty quickly and clearly. I don't feel that way right now."

Federer falls in quarters

Federer was stunned in the quarterfinals by sixth seed Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, a loss that sends the top seed out of the tournament before the semifinals for the first time since 2003.

Federer's forehand was way off, and Berdych kept pounding serves and groundstrokes right where he wanted them. It was Berdych's fourth victory in his past seven meetings against Federer, including in the 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinals. Berdych joins Rafael Nadal (eight wins) and Djokovic (five) as the only players to defeat Federer more than once in Grand Slam play since Federer won his first major, Wimbledon in 2003.

Federer had been 8-0 in U.S. Open quarters. He has gone four Opens without winning the title since his last one in 2008. This is the longest drought of his career for any major he has previously won.

Andy Murray was the first man into the semis, beating 12th seed Marin Cilic 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-0.

In today's quarterfinals, del Potro faces defending champion Novak Djokovic, who advanced when No. 18 Stanislas Wawrinka stopped playing because of illness and fatigue while trailing 6-4, 6-1, 3-1. That match also was suspended because of rain Tuesday. No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic advanced by finishing a rain-interrupted 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory over No. 19 Philipp Kohlschreiber.

In the women's quarters, Maria Sharapova erased a 4-0 deficit in another rain-delayed match and beat No. 11 Marion Bartoli 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Winning in straight sets were Serena Williams over No. 12 Ana Ivanovic and No. 10 Sara Errani over No. 20 Roberta Vinci.

.fast facts

Today's featured matches

Men — No. 2 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 4 David Ferrer vs. No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic

TV: 10:30 a.m., Tennis; noon and 7 p.m., ESPN2

Quintessential Andy 09/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:12am]
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