The Belgian, Kim Clijsters, had also announced before the tournament that she will retire once her run is over at the Flushing Meadows.
This surprise announcement came at the occasion of the American’s 30th birthday at a news conference.
”I’ll make this short and sweet: I’ve decided that this is going to be my last tournament,” said Roddick, wearing a black T-shirt and baseball cap with his clothing sponsor’s logos.
”I just feel like it’s time. I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year,” he said. ”I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event.”
After all it is where the former World no. 1 last won a Grand Slam in 2003 and he was the last American to do so.
For such a sad announcement the player did seem to be in a jolly mood, joking with the media persons from time to time and reflecting his current state of mind post the decision.
The 20th-seeded Roddick is scheduled to play 19-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
While there were rumours floating that Roddick might say farewell during these two weeks, 14-time major champion Serena Williams, for one, was not taken aback.
Indeed, after beating Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 6-2, 6-4, Williams said she knew this was coming.
She does sum up what all his fans were thinking when Roddick announced his retirement.
“I mean, he told me a while ago — last year — that this would be it,” she said. “We were talking about it. I was just thinking, ‘Change your mind, Andy. Change your mind.’ But I guess he didn’t.”