May 3, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How much of a relief is it for you to get through here today? It took a bit of time.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, you know, always on clay it's took time, but was good for me to winning a match.
Q. What about the rain, how difficult did it make things?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I would say real difficult. To play with the rain and a little windy, just at the same time you try and finish the match. Otherwise, this could go longer.
Q. How difficult was it to play against a local favorite?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: It's always difficult. But it's always fun to play a home man, just to put -- his ranking is 140, but he's playing great. Especially on clay court, for me, is not really my best, so I'm really glad the way I played today.
Q. Did you feel the crowd gave you a good reception today?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Oh, yeah, I mean, they're great. They not just cheering for they man, but they're great, yeah.
Q. Also, the story about military service, is that something that's been hanging over you and affecting your confidence?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: No, it's now finish.
Q. It's finished, okay. So can you just tell me what happened and how you resolved that situation.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, every Thai man, when they turn 20, they have to go for the selection. I'm 25, so it's been five years that I been, "Hold on, I come next year," and I been wait for five years. Finally, I have time at home, so I decided to go to do it. Finally, it got done. I didn't have to be in the Army.
Q. Why did they say you don't have to do it?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, because you go there and then (inaudible) see how tall are you, just like military service. They just try to get the people to go to the Army, but it's already full. They already have somebody, you know, get ready for Army. So I go there just to show up that, you know, I'm registered, just go to show up that I'm doing it.
Q. Did they say you don't have to actually --
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I don't have to do it. Just show up and just do it in the right way.
Q. After the results of last year on the clay, did you prepare better for the clay season?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I would say no, because I didn't practice on clay before I coming to Europe because there's no clay practice in Thailand. I come to tournaments to practice in the tournaments and just get ready for the French Open. I didn't expect too much from the clay court tournaments because I already use the season to practice and play good on hard court.
Q. But did you think that at the end of the last year to play better on the clay, did you want to do better also in Roland Garros?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Oh, yes, of course. I mean, I say I didn't expect too much, but in some point, I also expecting to do well, too. But it's more difficult for me to play well on clay because compared to the guy who was born on clay and, you know, they have more experience and they know how to play on clay more than me, so I always have difficult time.
Q. Is it just a problem that in your country there is not the clay?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, I would say...
Q. Or is it your way of playing?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, the way I play, I could play on clay court, no problem. But the thing is, if I can't get more practice, I mean, I start to play on clay when I was 15. So it's kind of really late compared to other players in Europe.
Q. Tonight you show that you can play also in the back, not just on the net.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I have to get -- try to improve myself and try to get the ball more on the court with spin, because on clay it's really difficult to go hit one winner.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.