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Monday, June 23, 2008
Doubles specialist Bjorkman to quit at end of season


LONDON -- Doubles specialist Jonas Bjorkman announced on Monday he would retire from professional tennis at the end of the season.

"I've been reflecting on my professional career and I have decided that this will be my last Wimbledon," the Swede said in a statement.

"I have been blessed with a long and successful career and I look forward to another great experience here at Wimbledon, for my last time as a competitor."

The Monte-Carlo based Bjorkman captured nine Grand Slam doubles titles and has been ranked No. 1 in doubles. He also helped Sweden win the Davis Cup.

"I also look forward to the rest of my 2008 season, which hopefully will include the Olympic Games in Beijing," he said. "It would be the most incredible way to finish my career if I could win a medal for Sweden.

"At the age of 36 I now feel it is time to begin the next chapter of my life, being at home with my family and pursuing other interests."

He reached as high as fourth in the world in singles and two years ago reached the semifinals at Wimbledon before falling to eventual champion Roger Federer.

But it has been on the doubles circuit that he has enjoyed the most success.

"It has been a fantastic journey starting with my first satellites in 1990 and my debut on the ATP Tour in 1993, a journey that has given me unforgettable moments, great victories, amazing experiences, so much knowledge and wonderful friendships on and off the court," Bjorkman said.