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Nadal is forced to work overtime

Soderling pushes him into a fifth set

LONDON -- Hours after he was sure he had won, Rafael Nadal still had some work to do to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon.

A point away from victory in the third set yesterday, Nadal hit a forehand he thought ended his match against Robin Soderling. Nadal, the No. 2 seed, raised both arms in celebration, then realized his shot had been called out.

The three-time French Open champion challenged the ruling, but the "Hawk-Eye" replay technology confirmed the ball was out. Seconds later -- and before another point was played -- rain suspended play for nearly two hours.

When they resumed on Court 1, Soderling won two straight points to win the third-set tiebreaker. Then, the No. 28-seeded Swede stretched the match to a fifth set. But with the light fading and rain returning, play was called with Nadal leading, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 4-6, 2-0, 30-all.

That match was one of four in the men's draw suspended by rain yesterday; only four were completed. Three men's matches never got started, including two-time runner-up Andy Roddick's meeting with Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Jonas Bjorkman, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, reached the fourth round by beating Wayne Arthurs, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

The match featured the two oldest men in tournament -- Bjorkman is 35; Arthurs is 36. It was the first Wimbledon match since 1974 between two men at least 35 years old.

"Well, I don't feel like 35," Bjorkman said. "I feel much younger, and I think I'm moving great."

Bjorkman, playing at Wimbledon for the 14th straight year, next will face No. 7 Tomas Berdych. The 21-year-old Czech advanced by beating Lee Hyung Taik, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3).

The 19th-seeded Bjorkman is trying to reach a major semifinal for the third time in 55 appearances.

Also, No. 10 Marcos Baghdatis defeated No. 23 David Nalbandian , 6-2, 7-5, 6-0, and No. 14 Mikhail Youzhny beat No. 18 Jarkko Nieminen , 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-3. In the suspended matches, No. 4 Novak Djokovic was leading Nicolas Kiefer, No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko was ahead of Gael Monfils, and No. 16 Lleyton Hewitt was leading No. 22 Guillermo Canas.