January 9, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. We gather you're going to go out and hit for another three hours, but you just like a little bit of a time-out, right?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, today, he's a great player. I just try my best. He's just playing a lot better.
Q. Were you beginning to feel a little bit weary because you had a considerable program the last ten days?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, well, I have a lot of tennis for the last ten days. You know, it's great for me that I can win the match yesterday, because I was down a set, down a break in the second set. It's good to come back. It's nice to be in a quarterfinals. I do better than last year, last year I was reaching second round. So I'm really glad that I'm doing well here.
Q. Is it a bit of a relief now to have a few days without matches before the Open?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, it's great to have some -- a couple day off before. I'm planning to leaving to Melbourne tomorrow and take one day off tomorrow, but get to the hotel, working out a little bit at the gym, and starting to hit some ball on Saturday, get the body refreshing.
Q. Just how well is Juan Carlos playing? He looked to be in great form there. Do you think he's a big chance, a big shot at the Australian Open?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, he's the one to looking at. I mean, is tough condition to play. It's windy, but he is really handle it well. He hits the ball well and moving well. He could, you know -- I mean, he could do well in the Australian Open.
Q. Were you surprised how well he was playing given how early on in the year it is?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, but he have a great season before, and he been playing well. First tournament, hungry to play and try to keep in the form that before the Open.
Q. Where do you think he's improved his game most in the last 12 months? Is it his serve, or is it beyond that?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, I think his serve, he doing in the right point. Like when he was down 15-30, he's not going for the big serve in the first one. He just kick it out wide. Then the player always expecting for, you know, when the service down like 15-30, love-40, expecting for the first one big coming right through the body. Then he just kick it out, and just ready to play the point.
Q. What do you think Lleyton has to do to win?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Lleyton, he has to play well (smiling). Well, he's a great player. If he concentrate and he really want it, it's possible he could do it any time.
Q. What do you think about this latest opinion that the Open should be played in February, for example, instead of January?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: You mean in February?
Q. Yeah, they say that it's too early to start the season.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, it feels good. First Grand Slam, first month of the year, I think it's right. It's a great time to play in Australia, too, I think. It's summer and the weather is great for tennis. So I think it's okay. It's not too early, because you have the whole year of tennis anyway.
Q. Interest is very high in Thailand. What kind of support are you getting from back home already? Looking ahead to the Australian Open, are you getting e-mails, faxes, phone calls yet?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yes, I got a lot of call, a lot of messages coming in, saying, "Good luck in the Aussie Open." Every match was live back to Bangkok every time. Like today, the match in singles was live. Chennai, five matches, a lot of matches live to Bangkok, so the people is really following my game. Just like I said, if they playing in a town, like working town, or in the evening, it's like not gonna be traffic. People stay home.
Q. Stay in the bars and watch as well?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, yeah. Like last time I play in Paris, the time difference six hours. It's like in the night in Bangkok already. So I went back, they said, "When you were playing, there was just -- but they still turn the music on, but the TV is on your match. The people were concentrate on your match, not really dancing or something."
Q. Are they any sort of 15-, 16-, 17-year-olds that are coming through behind you that look good?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think it will take a while for Thai tennis. It's good to have some younger player, but I think it's a lot of players starting right now that, you know, they saw me, that I can do it, and that we have like something that they can think, "Well, if Paradorn can do it, I want to try to be like him."
Q. Presumably, it would be great for Thai tennis if somebody could come through and join you in the Davis Cup team, your age or younger, to provide the continuity?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, well, I mean, I'm playing first singles for Davis Cup and the second single, his ranking -- he's 21 years old, his ranking is 250, 260. He plays well. His physical, he's a little bit -- he's not that tall and not that strong. So after a tough match, he need another two days off before next match.
Q. How many players do you think are capable of winning the men's title at the Australian Open, five players, six players?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: To...?
Q. From what you've seen the last couple of months.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I would say, you know, Top 10.
Q. Anyone in the Top 10?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah.
Q. Who's your biggest outsider for that, apart from yourself?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: To win the Australian Open?
Q. Is there one?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Is Agassi playing?
THE MODERATOR: Yes.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, he's the one to watch, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Outside the Top 10.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Oh, outside the Top 10. Excepting me (smiling)?
Q. We assume that you will...
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I have to see the list in the Top 20.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.