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She only hit one ace, more than 1 1/2 hours into the match, in her 10th service game of the evening.

Kerber reeled off six consecutive games in one stretch from the first set to the second, while Williams‘ mother, Oracene Price, rested her chin on her right hand in the stands. Williams made things interesting, though.

“I was nervous at the end of the second set. I mean, I was a little bit nervous and playing also not so aggressive. I was too defensive,” Kerber said.

Then, after Williams led 4-2 in the third set, and was two points away from victory while leading 5-4 as Kerber served, it all came apart again down the stretch for the American.

Usually stoic during matches, whether winning or losing, Williams was as animated as she gets, raising a clenched fist or yelling “Come on!” after those rare instances when she did control the action — and dropping her head or rolling her eyes or even swiping her racket on the court after missed shots.

It was the left-handed Kerber’s tour-leading 55th match win of the year, and she even showed off a little ingenuity, twice shifting the racket to her right hand to extend exchanges. She even won one, somehow connecting with enough oomph righty to get the ball over to the other side. Williams, perhaps stunned the point wasn’t over, pushed a swinging backhand volley into the net while staggering forward.

That kind of night for Williams, who even had issues with an earring that came out of her right lobe and the wrapping on her racket handle, which she replaced during a changeover.

Her U.S. Open is over, and Roddick’s career will be whenever his last match of this tournament ends.

He made his surprising announcement at a hastily arranged news conference at the site of his biggest triumph — the 2003 championship, the last time an American man won a Grand Slam singles trophy.

“I just feel like it’s time,” said Roddick, who is seeded 20th. “I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year. I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event. I have a lot of family and friends here. I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament. When I was playing my first round, I knew.”

He is scheduled to play 19-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round Friday night.

Roddick’s impending departure overshadowed some otherwise noteworthy on-court developments Thursday afternoon.

There was the loss by fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 Australian Open runner-up, against a man ranked 52nd.

And there was a spate of victories by American men, two who are Roddick’s contemporaries and good pals (32-year-old James Blake and 30-year-old Mardy Fish), and two who have been viewed as possible successors as the best the country has to offer in the sport (19-year-old Jack Sock and 24-year-old Sam Querrey).

“I saw the press conference just before I came out here. I had a feeling, thought it might be, because he’s someone who puts heart and soul into every match. It gets tougher as you get older, and I don’t think he could keep doing it the same way,” said the 115th-ranked Blake, whose 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 upset of No. 24 Marcel Granollers of Spain was stunning for its ease.

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