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Bjorkman/Mirnyi Clinch Final Shanghai Berth
Oct. 31, 2007 - Third seeds Max Mirnyi and Jonas Bjorkman (pictured) will have the chance to defend their Masters Cup doubles title after clinching the last berth for the season finale with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Austrian/American pairing Jurgen Melzer and Todd Perry at the BNP Paribas Masters on Wednesday.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi won their first title of the season recently in Stockholm, defeating Wimbledon champions Clement and Llodra in the final. The Swedish/Belarusian duo also finished runners-up at the Australian Open at the start of the year (l. to Bryan/Bryan). In last year’s Masters Cup they defeated Knowles/Nestor in the final, and will have the chance to defend that title in Shanghai 11-18 November.
Afterwards, Mirnyi said: "Having won it last year it would have been so sad not to have had the opportunity to defend the title. It's what you play for - to be there in the last week of the season. We want to re-live it once again. We're thrilled to have qualified and now we can focus on winning matches this week instead of counting the points.
"After losing in the third round of the US Open we knew we didn't have enough points to qualify, so we looked at the schedule and knew that we had to play every week. But we also needed some of our rivals not to do so well. The title in Stockholm gave us some points and confidence."
Bjorkman added: "It's pretty sweet. It was a win-win situation. Go home and have a holiday or qualify for Shanghai and play the Masters Cup. We haven't had a great year but it's great to have a chance to defend our title. We have nothing to lose going into Shanghai."
Pairing up for just the second time this season, Perry and Melzer were finalists in St. Petersburg last week, losing to Nestor/Zimonjic in the final.