Bjorkman and Mirnyi Tripped Up In Quarterfinals at Wimbledon
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Fabrice Santoro and Nenad Zimonjic denied Jonas Bjorkman a trip to both the singles and doubles semifinals by defeating Bjorkman and partner Max Mirnyi in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to claim a spot in the Wimbledon semifinals Thursday afternoon. The pair will play Martin Damm and Leander Paes for a berth in the final.
Santoro and Zimonjic, who are appearing at the All-England Club for the first time together, are looking for their first Grand Slam title as a team. Zimonjic was a Wimbledon finalist in 2004 (w/Knowle) while Santoro’s best finish was an appearance in the semifinals in 1999 (w/Delaitre).
Santoro and Zimonjic are currently No. 5 in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race with 342 points and have claimed two titles in 2006, including a grass title at Halle. They are riding an eight-match winning streak. The pair also reached the Monte Carlo final and semifinals in Dubai and Hamburg.
Bjorkman, who is still alive in singles, came from behind in his singles quarterfinal match against Radek Stepanek to advance to the semifinals against Roger Federer. The week before Wimbledon, Bjorkman was a finalist at Nottingham (l. Gasquet) but prior to that had only won two singles matches in 2006.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi’s loss means that Bob and Mike Bryan will reclaim the top spot in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race. The Bryans are currently ahead of Bjorkman and Mirnyi by 40 points after advancing to the Wimbledon semifinal. Bjorkman and Mirnyi overtook the American twins when they advanced to the doubles final at Queen’s. The Bryans are looking for their seventh consecutive Grand Slam final appearance and fourth career Slam title. If the Bryans should hoist the Wimbledon crown they will complete a career Grand Slam.