Sports

Djokovic storms on, Roddick stretches long goodbye

| | Updated on: Sep 03, 2012

Defending champion Novak Djokovic stormed into the US Open last 16 as Andy Roddick stretched his long goodbye into a prime-time showdown with fellow former champion Juan Martin Del Potro.

Djokovic coasted past French 30th seed Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 yesterday despite being forced to open up play on day seven at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It was an early match for me. Usually I don’t like to play the first match,” said second—seeded Djokovic.

“So it was important to stay strong and commit to every point.”

The Serb didn’t face a single break point in his 97-minute victory, his fourth on the trot against Benneteau, firing 13 aces and 41 winners.

The 25-year-old hasn’t dropped serve since the first game of his first-round match and has made the last 16 for a sixth successive year by losing just 14 games in three rounds.

He goes on to face Swiss 18th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, a semi-finalist in 2010 who eased past 14th-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 for a spot in the quarter-finals.

American 20th seed Roddick delayed his retirement by advancing to the fourth round with a 7-5, 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

Roddick, the 2003 US Open winner who will retire once this tournament is over, will play for a spot in the quarter-finals against 2009 winner Juan Martin Del Potro, the seventh seed from Argentina.

“I am trying to keep all of my emotions together. All the support I have received over the past few days has been truly humbling,” said 30-year-old Roddick.

Del Potro defeated 63rd-ranked compatriot Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (11/9) in a three-hour 20-minute marathon which was wrapped up on his sixth match point.

Del Potro’s win in New York three years ago was the only occasion in the last 30 majors that the champion wasn’t Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Djokovic.

Published on November 17, 2017

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