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Bjorkman beats doubes partner Mirnyi

Written by: Staff

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) Wily 34-year-old Swede Jonas Bjorkman beat his doubles partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-3 7-6 4-6 2-6 6-3 today to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

It was the second time in his 15-year professional career that Bjorkman, the oldest player left in the draw, had reached the last eight at the All England Club.

Making good use of his sharp volleying skills honed in doubles, Bjorkman out-witted the 1.96 metre Mirnyi, who turns 29 on Thursday, in the first set and outlasted him 8-6 in the second-set tiebreak.

Mirnyi, nicknamed the Beast of Belarus recovered his rhythm and thumped down some trademark big serves to capture the third and fourth sets.

Bjorkman, using patience and guile broke the fearsome serve in the second and fourth games of the decider and converted his first match point with an ace down the middle.

He will now play Radek Stepanek for a place in the semis after the Czech's five-set victory over Fernando Verdasco.

Bjorkman and Mirnyi successfully defended their French Open men's doubles title last month and are second seeds at Wimbledon this year.

Reuters PDS RN2255

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