January 7, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Paradorn, please.
Q. How long was that flight from India?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: It's five hours from Chennai to Singapore and another seven from Singapore to Sydney. I get here last night at nine o'clock.
Q. So you had less than 24 hours on the ground and you're playing tennis. Obviously jetlag is not a factor in your game?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, you know, I -- you know, it's tough, but I'm trying to, you know, get enough sleep last night. I was still waking up early, five in the morning. Trying to sleep, but I just can't. So back to bed again at 7:30, got up again at 12. It's good that I'm playing at night.
Q. It didn't seem to have affected your backhand?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, you know, I come out here in afternoon hitting some balls half an hour at two o'clock, feeling good. Just feel a little bit different. I mean, it's a lot different, you know, always first hit of the new tournament.
Q. Is it true, someone told me that you are now Thailand's Man of the Year?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yes, 2002.
Q. Great. Is that the first time a sportsman has had it?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think so, yeah.
Q. What does it mean? Do you have to make appearances?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: No, it's just like the vote of the year, who's the most famous guy in Thailand. Because I'm doing well in tennis, especially last four months that I been doing so well, and then the people voting me that I'm the first guy.
Q. Is it hard living in Bangkok now? You must be getting recognized a lot on the streets.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, it's a lot of people recognize me now. It's just different than before. Before I can go anywhere I like and then with no problem, but now, if I go out, it's gonna be a lot of people stopping, asking for autograph, even asking for talking on the phone with their family (smiling).
Q. Does it affect your life?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, that's the way it is, you know, when you getting recognize. The people, they proud for you that you're doing well and doing well for the country. I feel glad that I'm doing well. You know, it's just the way it is.
Q. What's it like returning to Australia now? You're a seeded player in Australia now. You weren't last time you were down here. So this notoriety or this fame is outside of Thailand.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, this is my first time I gonna be seeded in a Grand Slam. I don't feel any pressure at all. I just gonna feel the same, that I just one of the player that competition in the tournament, and just try to do my job, just try to win a match, and one by one.
Q. How did your win in Stockholm go down in Thailand? I also heard there was quite a crowd at the airport to greet you.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, after I won Stockholm and then I reaching the semifinal in Paris, then that is quite -- I mean, that is big time, big tournaments. You know, all the matches was live back to Thailand, so the people was really following the match, and know what's going on. Also today match, this was live to Bangkok. Last week, the match in Chennai, five matches was live. It's making, you know, they said they're making traffic not getting too bad because the people stay home (laughing).
Q. You even have full houses for your exhibitions, I gather, over the Christmas break?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, just before the Christmas I have exhibition with Jan-Michael Gambill in Bangkok. That is great to do it in Bangkok. I played three matches, and actually I played one matches with Andrew Ilie. That give me a good practice just before I come to play in Chennai.
Q. How long before you break into the Top 10 do you think?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: This week I'm 14. So, well, to jumping to Top 10, I probably need to do well in the Grand Slam, maybe reaching last 16 or quarterfinal. And I think, well, especially right now, I don't have any point to defending until maybe after Wimbledon, and that could be make a big difference.
Q. What goals have you set yourself this year, just do well in Grand Slams?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: To do well in Grand Slam and, you know, just before I come to Chennai, you know, I was talking to myself that I try to do well in Chennai, I'm looking for my third title. Finally, I won that one. And just, well, just try to win a lot of matches - as much as I can.
Q. Are you going to back off a little bit on your tournament schedule so that you can have a better run at the Majors?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: You mean tournaments?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Play less tournaments?
Q. The number that you play.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I am one of the player that I like to play tournament to keep my body working. But, I mean, the same time, I have to try to keep my body not getting injury. And it's good to play a match, good to play the tournaments, because for me, if I'm going back home, it's quite a long way to go back and forward because Thailand is quite far from Europe and America. So, yeah, I like to keep playing the tournaments, but maybe I gonna cut something out.
Q. You happy still with having your dad as coach? You think you'll get into the Top 10 with that combination?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah. I always happy to have my father as a coach because he's the one who got me here and he's my first coach.
Q. The crowd seemed to, after a little while tonight, really seemed to warm to you. Is that something you're conscious of, sort of enjoying yourself there? Scott mentioned in his interview someone like you is good for your game, you're out there enjoying yourself.
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I'm feeling good to go out there and play Scott, and playing on Centre Court again. The crowd was really nice. They just give me a good time. You know, I always go out there and have fun and enjoy the match, even I lost or I win. I just try to enjoy the match. I try to not getting mad in match, because it's more fun for the crowd.
Q. Do you think that's something that might change, given if you get into the Top 10 and the pressure and the expectations get higher, it's hard to show such exuberance on the court?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: This is the way I am, so it can't be change.
Q. When you think back on how you were playing, say, this time last year, what can you see as the main difference? Is it just confidence, or is it more than that?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, the big key is confidence also important. The way I'm playing, I used to play like try to hit the ball from anywhere of the court and I make mistake a lot. So I just change a little bit to play more balls on the court and then waiting for the right one to go for it.
Q. Arnaud DiPasquale, the French player, calls you his idol. He calls you the Master of Zen?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: (Laughing). Actually, me and Di Pasquale was good friends because we were playing since I was 14, because he's the same age, he's '79 - not 79 years old, but he was born in '79 (laughing). He knows me so well, and he know that I'm Buddhist. He just, you know, making fun of me, but that's okay (smiling).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.