Wimbledon-Thailand's Paradorn survives French fright
2003-06-25 15:35:28 GMT (Reuters)
By Bill Barclay
LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - Thai 12th seed Paradorn Srichaphan saved two match points as he stormed back from two sets down to beat Frenchman Olivier Mutis 4-6 1-6 7-6 7-5 7-5 in the second round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Paradorn, who beat Andre Agassi on his way to the third round last year, produced a shambolic display in the first two sets against an opponent playing only his second match at the All England Club.
Mutis was everywhere under leaden skies on court two, the traditional seeds' graveyard. The scampering Frenchman unleashed a series of winners and deft drop shots that belied his lack of experience and his 78 ranking.
But the tall Thai stole the third set on a tiebreak after a rain interruption and then saved two match points when Mutis served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth.
The 1995 Wimbledon junior champion lost his nerve and Paradorn took full advantage by breaking twice to level the match at two sets all.
In the decider Thailand's number one made his heavy serve and greater experience count, clinching the match with a break on the first of two match points when his opponent put a backhand into the net.
Paradorn, who will play Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal next, has never reached the fourth round of a grand slam event.
, 26 June 03
Paradorn admits rainbreak saved his skin
LONDON (AFP) - Paradorn Srichaphan admitted he was saved by the rain during his five-set win over Frenchman Olivier Mutis here at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
The Thai player was two sets down when the heavens opened for the first time in this year's tournament, and Paradorn was afforded a 30 minute break to regroup after a torrid opening.
"You never know, if it hadn't rained I might have lost it because I was a little bit down," Paradorn said after the 4-6, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 7-5 second round victory.
"I had a little rest and my coaches and dad came in and told me to think positive, hang in there and think that you can do it. I just went out there and felt really good about hitting the ball."
Paradorn, Asia's number one player, returned to the court to force a tie-break and after winning that survived two match points in the fourth set to set up a third round match with Spanish prodigy Rafael Nadal.
Paradorn struggled early on, making a rash of unforced errors in the opening exchanges, but he also acknowledged the influence of his opponent.
"I expected a tough match but in the first two sets he killed me," he said of Mutis, a junior champion here in 1995.
"He was playing so fast, moving so well and I made a lot of mistakes. It was really tough mentally and I felt the pressure in the beginning but I just tried to be positive."