Djokovic, Roddick cruise into third round
Andy Roddick's transition from the tennis court to the rocking chair was delayed when the former world No 1 reached the third round of the US Open on Friday, joining a parade of former champions advancing at the year's final grand slam.
Roddick, who announced a day earlier he would retire at the end of the tournament, served his way past rising Australian talent Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-4 6-0 in his second-round match.
Joining Roddick in the winner's circle on Friday were former titlists Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and Lleyton Hewitt, who reached the third round.
None of Friday's array of former champions excited the passions of the Flushing Meadows faithful more than Roddick, the never-say-die Texan who never saw a fight he did not like.
Roddick, 30, blasted 13 aces in the one hour, 27-minute rout under the lights before nearly 25 000 at raucous Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"I had no idea what was going to happen out there honestly, even before the match," said Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion. "I've played a lot of matches.
"That was a different kind of nerves than I've had before. That was surprising for me."
An emotional Roddick said he did not know if he played so well because it could have been his last match.
"Felt weird before the match," he said. "Twenty minutes before it was kind of getting the best of me. I kind of had to like get my stuff together before I walked out there.
"So by no means am I an expert on this. It's still a little different. It worked. I played well. I don't know why."
The defending champion had little trouble advancing, as Djokovic blitzed Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-2 6-1 6-2 in sun-drenched Ashe Stadium.
Djokovic dropped just two games in his opening-round win over Italy's Paolo Lorenzi and Silva managed only three more as the second-seeded Serb was in a different class.
"I didn't know much about my opponent," said Djokovic. "Never saw him play. So that could have been difficult at the start in order to figure out what his game plan is. But I played well from the start to the end."
Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, downed American Ryan Harrison 6-2 6-3 2-6 6-2, while 31-year-old wildcard Hewitt, who won the title in 2001, outlasted Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, 3-6 7-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 in four hours, 35 minutes.