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October 16, 2002

Paradorn Srichaphan

Q. You were right yesterday when you said it can be very different from Birmingham, in a number of ways, not only because you continued to play well, but the court was very different, as well, wasn't it?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yes. Well, I feel really confidence to go on court. I mean, last time I play in Birmingham, the court is pretty quick, like I said yesterday. The court here, I mean, I like the court. The court a little bit slow so I can have more time to hit the ball, even he coming in.

Q. He also said the bounce was different.


Q. From Birmingham.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Oh, yeah. In Birmingham was quick and low. Here is like slower and the balls sit up high, yeah.

Q. Even taking that into account, how did you think the difference in Tim's game was today? He didn't seem to play with quite the same enthusiasm.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, well, I don't know. It seems to be like -- first set, I was starting well, like 3-1, then I just stop; he starting to play well. Then I feel from almost the end of second set, after I break him couple games, I feel that his first serve is not working like it used to be, so he give me like opportunity to break his serve.

Q. First game of the second set was obviously very important.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah. I mean, I was serving Love-40. You know, is like one of the big change, turning around. If I lost that game, it could be like over. But third set he was break me first, like 2-0 up. I just break him right away.

Q. He says that he's going to vote for you as the most improved player this year. Again, you must feel everything is sailing along nicely for you.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I feel all the players happy for me because we all good friends. When the new player starting to improve in tennis game, everybody like happy for each other.

Q. What particular part of your game do you think you've improved this year?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Just like I said yesterday, I used to hit the winner -- try to hit the ball as hard as I can from any part of the court. I'm kind of work the ball more on the court and wait for the right shot.

Q. You're coming in more?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: If I have a short ball, yeah, I hit and come in. I didn't do approach like slice and coming in.

Q. Do you think if you had been waiting for the arrival of your first baby any day, you might have been a little distracted playing a tennis match?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah. You know, it's tough. I mean, I feel great for him that finally his baby is coming out. Well, it's difficult. Maybe one of your mind thinking, "I want to go home, see my baby, first baby." But it's just like my right opportunity to play him this week. I'm happy the way I'm playing. It's all right.

Q. You take opportunities when they're offered, don't you?


Q. Do you think you could make the Top 20 by the end of the year?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, this tournament, then there's two more tournaments, Stockholm and Paris. If I'm keep doing well, you know, I would say I close to make it. I'm trying hard to make it before the end of the year.

Q. In terms of what you've achieved this year, to beat Kuerten and Henman successive days, is that up there with the achievements so far?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yes. Those two guys, they both really great player. I mean, the top of tennis level. I mean, it's just like I'm showing that if I have more time, in the future I would say I could be better than Top 20.

Q. How far?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, I set up myself like Top 20 first, and then next one could be Top 10, yeah.

Q. If you were to get into the Top 10, what would that do for tennis in Thailand?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, it's never happen before. Even right now it's big for Thai tennis that I make through to Top 50, you know, like beating the guy like former No. 1, even No. 1 like two weeks ago. You know, they all happy for me. They was really exciting how I'm playing. Like yesterday, the match they show it live. Well, they didn't show it live, but they play the tape in the morning, like on normal channel. It's really big for me.

Q. I'm told that during the Davis Cup match in Birmingham, lots of clubs and other places were showing the television live, crowds were enormous, watching like they watch football in England.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: That match was live back to Thailand, the Davis Cup. I make a phone call, the Thai people was like 80% of them watching the game, the Davis Cup game. It was really big.

Q. That weekend got a bigger coverage of English football, which is also popular there.


Q. Is there a need to prepare for some of this? You could become very big, indeed. That will change the whole atmosphere in which you work. Is there a need to prepare yourself in some way mentally, by having people around you to help you more?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I mean, my dad, he's my coach since I was starting to play like at six years old, seven years old. He's still my coach right now. We working together really well. But, you know, tennis or other sport, you have to learning. Well, is never step stop. You have to try to learn something. Actually, I'm learning from the best player, better player, like learning your opponent, how he playing. So that's one of the key how I can play the guy.

Q. Is your father taking films of you with the camera?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, he's taking every match, if he can.

Q. Are you watching?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I was watching when I go back to the hotel every time.

Q. Do you watch any particular player?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Not really. Just, you know, watching the match, this guy, how he play, what is his game like, try to learning if I going to play him, what he going to do next time.

Q. Is there one Top 10 player now that gives you more trouble than most that you haven't quite managed to fathom out yet?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Not really. I mean, I feel more relaxed to go on court with those guy, like today, like yesterday. Sometime I just feel like smiling on the court, even I lost the point. If I'm playing well, I was okay.

Q. Was your father a good tennis player?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: He's not a professional tennis player, but he used to play the sport before, like soccer, like 30 years ago. I have two older brothers. That's how I started, I was following my older brothers to play tennis.

Q. Why did you start playing tennis?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Tennis and soccer, like with soccer you have to hit each other, but tennis you are opposite the side. That's what he told me. That's why I choose the tennis. Try to get away from injury (laughter).

Q. Do you think now you're becoming one of the public's favorites?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I guess so. Well, yes.

Q. Yesterday you said the bigger name was Guga. Now maybe in the next match, your name is the bigger.


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