Clement/Llodra Dent Year-End No. 1 Hopes of Bjorkman/Mirnyi
Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi (pictured) missed an opportunity to cut the 154-lead of Stanford ATP Doubles Race leaders Bob and Mike Bryan, at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris on Saturday.
Frenchmen Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra knocked out second-seeded Bjorkman and Mirnyi 6-3, 6-4 in 77 minutes Saturday, for a place in the final of the ninth ATP Masters Series event of the season.
Clement and Llodra are playing together for the first time since losing to Bjorkman and Mirnyi in the US Open quarterfinals in September. Bjorkman and Mirnyi went on to reach the final (l. to Damm-Paes).
Clement and Llodra will look to win their second team title against Tennis Masters Cup qualifiers Fabrice Santoro and Nenad Zimonjic in the final on Sunday. Clement and Llodra captured the 2004 St Petersburg title (d. Hrbaty-Levinsky) and hold a 29-11 record as a pair.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi have a record of 48-11 this year and have won five titles together, trailing only the Bryan twins with seven.
The Bryan could have made a certainty of claiming the year-end No. 1 ranking for the third time in four years had they won the BNP Paribas Masters title in Paris. The Americans lost to Santoro and Zimonjic in the semifinals on Friday.
Santoro and Zimonjic have a record of 40-15 this year and have won titles at Sydney in January, Halle in June and Moscow three weeks ago.
__________________ EISERN UNION
Bryans || Djokovic || Paire || Rojer || Tecau || Pospisil || Chiudinelli || Verdasco || Simon || Seppi || Leo Mayer