Roddick Moves to Semis as Djokovic Quits

Australian Open's defending champion throws in the towel
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2009 4:17 AM CST
Andy Roddick of the US, left, talks with Serbia's Novak Djokovic as Djokovic retired from their men's singles match at the Australian Open Tennis Championship in Melbourne today.   (AP Photo/Rick Stevens)
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(Newser) – Andy Roddick moved to the semifinals of the Australian Open after opponent Novak Djokovic quit in the middle of the fourth set. After taking the first set in a tiebreaker, the defending champion lost the next two to Roddick before calling a doctor and retiring the match at 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 2-1. Djokovic blamed the 97° heat, reports the Times of London. During one changeover he draped ice packs around his neck.

"Cramping and soreness in the whole body" led him to throw in the towel, the Serbian player said after the match. There were no indications that Djokovic was ill until the third set, when Roddick took a commanding lead. This is not the first time that Djokovic has walked off the court. He retired during the quarterfinals of the 2006 French Open and the semis of Wimbledon in 2007, both against Rafael Nadal.