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Emotional Martin calls it quits

NEW YORK -- The stands at cavernous Louis Armstrong Stadium were largely empty late Monday night -- most patrons at the National Tennis Center were next door watching Andre Agassi.

And after Todd Martin had lost his first-round U.S. Open match -- he fell to Fabrice Santoro 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 -- the on-court microphone failed to work.

"This is appropriate," said Martin, one of the most literate and gentlemanly players in the game. "That's OK, I'm done."

Indeed, it was the final ATP match of his career.

At the age of 34, Martin is done. In 15 seasons as a professional, Martin fashioned a record of 411-234. He was a handy 102-48 in Grand Slams, 33-15 at the U.S. Open. Twice he reached the finals of major tournaments, the 1994 Australian Open and, memorably, the 1999 U.S. Open, losing to Agassi in a stirring five-set match.

Of the 128 men in the draw, only Agassi, playing in his 19th U.S. Open, had played in more than Martin's 15 Opens.

And when it was over, Martin had tears in his eyes. So did his wife Amy, who was holding their 1-year-old son Jackson.

"Thanks for watching my match," he told the several hundred spectators when the microphone had been activated. "It's been a pleasure to play in front of all of you."

Later, in his final post-match press conference, he explained his decision.

"I've been thinking about it the last couple of years," Martin said. "You get to the point where you know in your heart. The last few months I've gone from a lot less thinking and a lot more feeling."

Martin said his favorite memories were the 1990 U.S. Open, his first professional tournament, playing doubles with Pete Sampras to help win the 1995 Davis Cup title and the '99 Open final against Agassi.

"Obviously, it's been a big part of my life," Martin said. "I'm going to miss it terribly."