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January 10, 2006

Paradorn Srichaphan


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Radek was seeded; you came in unseeded. But both of your forms overall would have suggested that the match was a lot more closely competed. Did you feel that was the case going in as well?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, you know, I think it's part of the game. Because this tournament is right after Chennai. You have to fly all the way from India, which is -- but I get here before him, one day, which is I think I got advantage from that because he just got here last night. And to play, for me, not a seeded player, and playing the seeded player is of course tough at the beginning of the tournaments. But I didn't -- I think I have nothing to lose, just to come in here and play Radek because I already play him two times and I lost to him. So my expectation today is just go out there and just try my best, and it seem to be working on my way.

Q. What was the injury that was troubling you today?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Just hurting, quad. I had it from second round in Chennai. So it's still hurting a little bit, but I just try to asking for hot cream just to keep it warm and then I can continue playing.

Q. How do you feel about your Australian Open preparations?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: It would be better if not hurting my quad. But hopefully it's gonna feel much better. And I have a long break, almost two months, on November and December. Whole December I work pretty hard off the court, and hopefully it's gonna -- you know, I feel like I can stay long match, like two or three hours, or four hours, no problem. But the heat maybe make it less.

Q. Do you feel fitter this time around than in the past?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think I feel -- my body feel a lot better. Like no injury. But I just had my quad last week, which is not -- better not to have it. Less than a week before Melbourne, so I will try to do my best here and just try to recover for next week.

Q. What are your expectations for this year? You had a breakthrough season and everything seemed to be skyrocketing for you, but things have toweled off for you a little bit recently.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I feel it happens so quick for me for 2002, half year of 2002 that I am starting to do well and continue doing well for another two years and a half. And then I start to dropping my ranking 'cause, I mean, I been playing a lot of tennis. So some time I didn't play that consistent. There's also a lot of new player coming up. Also the injury on and off. So it's a lot of -- a lot of thing happen, you know, during past three years. A lot more expectation from home, a lot of thing like press at home. You know, it's always like more thing off the court that you have to think about it, which is some time you feel like under pressure. But now I feel like I feel more relaxed. If that what I have done for three years is my best that I can do, I will really appreciate that. You know, that's my best. But I still trying to do -- this is like my -- another four to five years in the future that I can play in professional, so I will, you know, just continue playing the sport that I love and gonna keep playing and try to make it back to, you know -- my goal is try to make it back to top 20.

Q. Was it a deliberate plan for you to take two months off, or were you injured and needed time to recuperate? Did you want to get your head around your career again?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: You mean November and December?

Q. Yes.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, actually time off is off-season. I also become a monk for one week. That's why I have to change my hairstyle and I have to shave my eyebrow. That is on about first of December to seven of December that I spent time in the temple as the Thai culture, Buddhism. Every Thai man is have to do it, so I choosing the time to do it on my off-season. I spend one week in the temple having two meal like seven o'clock in the morning and eleven o'clock in the morning, and you not allowed to eat again -- I mean you not allowed to eat after 12:30; you can only drink. And wake up at four in the morning. 4:30 to 5:30, meditation. And meditation again at five in the evening to seven. So it's pretty interesting for me that week that, you know, get my time away from tennis. Is really calm week and quiet week for me. Everything I have, like the phone, the family, I just cut it, I just leave it behind, walk into the temple, become a monk, and it's feel good after that, I done that.

Q. How many times do you have to do that?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Once a life. But you also can do it again. I mean, I also can do it again. But at least once you have to do it for your parents.

Q. You are probably the only man on the tour who's been able to escape the all-embracing world of sport and tennis and totally switch off and concentrate on your life.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, I think what make me do that I think is because is a culture. Not because I have to do it, I also looking forward to do it. Because it's great for the culture, is great for my religion, like Buddhism. Actually, the purpose to do it is for respecting the parents. Because also all of my brothers all done it. It's not that hard to -- it's like you doing something differently from normal people - the way you talk, the way you acting, the way you walk. You can't walk fast; you have to walk slow. You have to do everything like calm. You have to know every single minute what you doing.

Q. Did it make you grow as a person?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah. I mean, one week is -- after I come out of the temple -- the first day I come out, I was like, "Am I a normal person now?" I'm asking myself. Like is really interesting for me. Is really -- I can use that, one week I spend in the temple, I can be really calm. And especially for this sport, which is I already a calm person when I'm on court. Now I'm even like -- I feel like whatever gonna happen, let it happen. But if you go out there and if you already try your best, then just leave it.

Q. So that time improved your tennis, do you think, coming back into it again?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: It's not hundred percent, but you can use some of it, maybe like 50% or 60% of it to mix up with your game. It's like a mental thing.

Q. It helps you analyze what's happening on the court.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah. I mean, of course sometimes when you playing a match you getting mad of some call, some point that you should win. But what else you can do? You can't, you know, do the slow motion and do it again. You have to look forward that what can happen next. Just leave it behind. Yeah, that you have to mix, you know, like mixing from what you learn from the temple to be on the court.

Q. Do you meditate before a game?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I don't have that much time, but I do before bed. But after -- first couple days after I came out from the temple I did it every day, and then I feel like I didn't have that much time.

Q. Did your agent tell you you have to grow your hair back again?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Actually, I gonna keep it short a little while. I already cut it twice (smiling).

Q. Keep you cooler in the summer.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, it's cool. A little cooler, yeah (smiling).

Q. Do you think you could become a monk full-time after your tennis?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Oh, yeah, for sure. But I think is no point to do that for me. I would prefer to be a normal person. But maybe I was thinking after tennis I would do that again for another two weeks, just right after tennis, right after my profession, do it again. Just leave everything behind, two weeks, be a quiet week, and then start new life (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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