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Bjorkman in English Tennis Semis

June 19, 1998

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) _ Jonas Bjorkman, the only seeded player left in the Nottingham Open, moved into the semifinals with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win over Grant Stafford on Friday.

Bjorkman, the No. 2 seed, broke Stafford’s serve in the first game of the match. He held the break until he was serving for the set at 5-4 before Stafford broke back and forced the set to a tiebreaker.

The second set went with serve until the eighth game when Bjorkman broke for a 5-3 lead and then served out the match.

Bjorkman, who has recently recovered from a serious virus, said he was comfortable playing on grass and expects a good result at Wimbledon, where he is seeded No. 11.

``It’s been a big goal for 1998 to do well at Wimbledon,″ he said. ``The way I’m playing now _ if guys want to beat me _ they’re going to have to play at their very best.

Bjorkman will meet Jerome Golmard in the semifinals Saturday after the Frenchman beat Australia’s Scott Draper 6-4, 6-3 in a quarterfinal Friday.

In other quarterfinals, Zimbabwe’s Byron Black defeated Gianluca Pozzi 7-5, 6-2, and Sargis Sargsian of Armenia defeated No. 6 seed Brett Stevens 7-6 (10-8), 6-2.

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