American James Blake will retire from professional tennis after the US Open at the age of 33.

An emotional Blake, due to face big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the first round at Flushing Meadows, made his announcement at a news conference on the opening day of the year's final major.

"I guess I don't think I'm catching anyone by surprise by the e-mails and calls I have gotten in the last 24 hours when I announced I'm having a press conference," he said.

"No real surprise here. This is my last tournament. I have had 14 pretty darn good years on tour, loved every minute of it, and I definitely couldn't have asked for a better career.

"For me to think of matches I should have won and to make those as regrets for me has always just seemed greedy."

Blake, three times a grand slam quarter-finalist - including twice in New York - reached a career high of fourth in the world rankings in 2006 and claimed 10 singles titles and seven doubles crowns on the ATP World Tour.

"I'm really, really excited I have gotten to do this on my terms," he said. "I had knee surgery a couple of years ago, and if that had been the end it would have been a little more disappointing to me to end it without going out the way I am now, where still just two weeks ago I beat a guy top 20 in the world.

"I know I have the capability of still playing at that level at times. It's just not with the same consistency I was able to four or five years ago when I felt like every week was an opportunity to win a tournament. I don't feel like that as much any more.

"I don't want to be dragged out of this game. I don't want someone telling me I need to leave. I want to leave on my own terms. I'm happy doing that right now."

He added: "The competition is something I will miss. I will miss pressure-packed moments, break points, set points, match points, crowd getting into it. But I'm so, so fortunate to have a life after this that I'm looking forward to with my wife, with my family."