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Federer laments American flop show

Written by: Staff

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) World number one Roger Federer hoped the poor showing by the Americans at this year's Wimbledon will turn out to be only a temporary setback.

The US provided three of the four singles finalists at the 2005 championships but 12 months later, Shenay Perry's defeat today meant there would be no American man or woman in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time since 1911.

''It's quite a disappointment,'' said Federer, who beat Andy Roddick in the last two finals here.

Venus Williams beat compatriot Lindsay Davenport to win her third Wimbledon title here last year.

Williams suffered a shock defeat in the third round while 1999 holder Davenport was unable to compete through injury.

Venus's younger sister Serena, the 2002 and 2003 winner, was also forced to stay away from southwest London while she recuperates from a knee injury.

The trio between them had triumphed here in six of the last seven years.

Although no American man has lifted the famed Challenge Cup since Pete Sampras won the last of his seven titles in 2000, third seed Roddick had been expected to reach the latter stages for the fourth year running.

Roddick along with 1992 champion Andre Agassi and James Blake perished in the third round.

For more than a decade, the all-American smile was a trademark on finals' day at the grand slams with Agassi, Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang winning one major title after another.

From 1989 onwards, the quartet chalked up 27 major titles between them and ensured that the US won at least one slam a season.

When Roddick captured the 2003 US Open crown it appeared the changing of the guard had taken place as scripted.

That was the last time an American man won one of the four major titles.

''We know that it (American losing early) can happen at the French Open but now seeing that it happening in Wimbledon is obviously a bit of a surprise,'' said Federer.

''The women's side, Serena and Lindsay are missing but Andy obviously was a bit of a surprise.

''It's disappointing because I like seeing the Americans going far.

''They've had a great history of playing well in almost every grand slam, especially with Pete and Andre, Courier and Chang, all these guys around.

''So I hope it's gonna be better for them at the U.S. Open.'' Reuters DH VP0123

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