Monday, October 13, 2008

The 700 club

I just wanted to send some quick kudos to Jonas Bjorkman on winning his 700th doubles match (and taking the title, too, with Kevin Ullyett) in Stockholm over the weekend.

Bjorkman's packing it up after this season, and he's leaving as one of the greatest doubles players of all time. He's won Slams everywhere and picked up numerous titles elsewhere as well. His singles career has been kind of overlooked lately, but he's a two-time Slam semifinalist and has gotten as high as number four in the world, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at.

The first men's pro match I saw live was with him at the U.S. Open playing Patrick Rafter in the quarters back in 1998. Rafter was handling him pretty handily, then the crowd started getting behind Bjorkman, who managed to make it tight at the end—but it wasn't enough. He was a good sport throughout, even with the rowdy New York crowd mispronouncing his first name by saying the silent "J."

And, of course, before Novak Djokovic, there was Bjorkman doing impersonations. You can catch him imitating some old-school players here .

Anyway, Jonas, best of luck the rest of the year, and in the future, too. I'm sure we'll still be seeing you around!

(Photo: Getty Images)

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