Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Defending Champion Throws in the Towel; Djokovic Withdrawal Shock

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Defending Champion Throws in the Towel; Djokovic Withdrawal Shock

Article excerpt

Byline: Tennis JOHN SALVADO

ANDY Roddick ended Novak Djokovic's reign as Australian Open champion yesterday, when the exhausted Serb was forced to withdraw early in the fourth set of their quarter-final.

It was the third time in his career that Djokovic had retired mid-match during the latter stages of a grand slam tournament.

Roddick was leading 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 2-1 when the No.3 seed told the chair umpire he would be unable to continue after two and a half hours of play.

Djokovic, 21, appeared to be suffering the effects of another hot day at Melbourne Park.

The American now advances to his first grand slam semi-final in two years, where he will play either Swiss superstar Roger Federer or Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro.

The No.7 seed said he did not realise Djokovic was in so much distress until he withdrew.

"It's disappointing - I feel for Novak," said Roddick.

"He worked so hard to win this last year ... it's just too bad. …

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