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August 28, 2002

Paradorn Srichaphan

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Is that your regular game that you played today?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, you know, I'm just playing my game today. He's playing well. It's like he need more experience.

Q. Do you normally play using so much touch?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah. You know, I just go out there and just whoever I'm playing, I keep playing my game. I didn't change anything.

Q. So why has it taken you so long to win your first match at the US Open?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: That's right. This is my first win at US Open main draw. Well, this is my third time -- third or second.

Q. Third.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, in the main draw. Well, actually for the last two times that I've been playing in main draw here, I have a tough draw first round. I remember that two years ago I played Corretja, then I played Sanguinetti last year, you know, top player. This year I get wildcard. But, you know, I have to go out there and play my best, too, otherwise it could go either way, too.

Q. How much did your win over Andre Agassi this summer build your confidence, make you believe in yourself?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, my win over Agassi is giving me a lot of confidence. I feel that if I can keep my level of tennis the way I'm playing against Andre, if I can keep it going, that's mean I can go out there and play with anybody. Just like last two weeks, you know, I've been playing great because that win helping my confidence. Just keep the way I'm playing.

Q. Is it just confidence or have you done anything to your game in the last few weeks or month?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Actually, it's two main thing. One is confidence, and the physical fitness that I've been building up. I've been working hard for the last two years. I mean, last year I didn't do anything that great. But it's time to pay off for this year that I've been working hard last year.

Q. Anything different you're doing as far as your training? Specifically anything?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Especially lower body, from the hip going down. I've been working hard on my legs, how to moving well on the court, all the reaction thing. It's all about, you know, if I can get to the ball, to sit on the ball, get the good position to hit the ball, then I hit it good. You know, when my leg is tired, I can't get to the ball, good position, I can't hit that ball.

Q. The Thai crowd is getting bigger and bigger. This match was live in Thailand?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, Star Sport, live to Thailand. It's about 10 at night.

Q. Is it the first time that one of your match was live on TV?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: It's been -- no, this is not my first match live to Bangkok.

Q. What kind of reaction did you get back home after the Agassi win?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: The people was really exciting about it when I'm come back. I mean, Agassi is really big name. To me, he's really my -- could be my hero, you know, because he's real No. 1 to me. He's been No. 1 in the world, he go down, he come back again. I mean, to me - to everyone - Agassi is a big name. You know, to beat Agassi at Wimbledon on Centre Court, there's no one expecting that.

Q. What did they do to you? Did they crown you?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: They not doing any parade. It's all the TV, all the newspaper like line up almost every day. I get less practice, but still I have to do it because it's good for the people.

Q. Looks like you're going to play Greg Rusedski next.

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Looks like it. I played him one time, lost to him in Los Angeles, close match, 6-4, 7-6. That's two years ago. I look forward to play him.

Q. How big a match is it because of the Davis Cup tie to come after that?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, actually is practice for Davis Cup, too. Well, it's going to be good match, I guess. I look forward to play him.

Q. How did you celebrate your Long Island win?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: We went to the Japanese restaurant.

Q. Japanese?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah. Long Island is like one-hour drive from here. After the match, the tournament director give me the long limousine from the site to get to Manhattan. I stay in the Union Plaza. We get here at 8, so I just kind of walked to Japanese and get some sushi.

Q. Did you buy yourself something after the Agassi win?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Actually, I didn't buy anything yet. No. Maybe coming soon.

Q. Is there anything you would like to buy for yourself that you're looking at, and now you have the money?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Maybe new house, you know.

Q. There were two signs in the crowd. One was the elephant, one was the man with the hand. What significance are those?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: The sign, the elephant. First thing, elephant for Thai people is the animal that really representing Thailand. It's huge animal. Used to be in the Thai flags. I don't know how long ago they said, "No, we don't want that picture in the flags." The man with the hand is me. They just paint it. Every time after the match, I do in the Thai way like this (hands together, bowing).

Q. Is there a significance that the hand is colored in?


Q. Earlier in the year you said your goal was to be in the Top 50. You already exceeded that. Would you want to revise your goal now?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: After Washington final, I'm talking to the press, I say my next goal is Top 30. This week -- I mean, after I won Long Island, my ranking is 33. It's really close. Three more spot and I reach my goal for the year. When you reach the goal, I have to set another goal. I go step by step.

Q. Does it mean a lot to be essentially the best player ever to come from Asia or do you not think of it in those terms?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I feel great, you know, to representing not just Thailand, I representing all the Asian people, Asian tennis. It's not so many Asian player playing at this level. I would like to see more. But I'm doing it right now, so I hope all the younger Asian, they can look up, like when I was young I was looking up to Michael Chang.

Q. Is that happening in other countries and Thailand, that young players are going to play because of you?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think so. Actually, a lot of junior. When they're trying to turn from 18 to 19, the parents, they deciding for the kids that you're going to go to school or you're going to play.

Q. Do you need a lot of money to play tennis in Thailand?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: You know, not much.

Q. What's the toughest thing about being a tennis player from Thailand? Is it more difficult than people from other countries?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think so, you know. Well, I would say the match that I play Andre, if some guy's not from Asia beating Agassi in Wimbledon second round, Centre Court, I think it would be pretty normal, compared to Asian people beating Agassi, you know. It's kind of different.

Q. So you get more attention because you're from Asia?


Q. Did you grow up on hard courts?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I grow up on hard court. In Thailand there's no clay at all.

Q. The last set you were wearing the red shirt. Is that the shirt from the factory?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I always going to finish it with the red one. The red color is the winning color for Thai. Especially on Sunday, they're wearing on Sunday the red in Thailand.

Q. Did you ever lose in the red one?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yes, I did. But at least I try.

Q. Is there a favorite Thai place in New York to eat?

PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: There's a lot of Thai restaurant in New York.

End of FastScripts….

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