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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Srichaphan carries Asia's hopes
Srichaphan lies just outside the world's top 30
Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan is BBC Sport Online's Player of the Month for September.
Five months ago, there was an almost audible sigh of relief from the British camp when, faced with the task of regaining their place in the Davis Cup World Group, they drew a home tie against Thailand.
Their opponents would be making their debut in World Group qualifying and their best player was at the time ranked 67th in the world.
What a difference five months make.
Taylor warns against complacency
Since the draw, Paradorn Srichaphan has risen to a career-high 31st, higher than Greg Rusedski, and captured his first Tour title.
Maiden title for Srichaphan
The 23-year-old approached the US Open having never won a match at Flushing Meadows and got as far as the second round, losing to Rusedski in five close sets.
Born: Bangkok, Thailand
Turned pro: 1997
Davis Cup record: 15-3
The spark for Srichaphan's hot streak came at Wimbledon where the unheralded Thai ousted former champion Andre Agassi in the second round on his Centre Court debut.
And he made sure he would be remembered fondly by the British public by performing a traditional bow to each side of the historic court.
He lost in the next round but Srichaphan attributes much of his success since that win to the effect beating a top 10 player had on his frame of mind.
"My win over Agassi is giving me a lot of confidence," he said.
"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 mean I can go out there and play with anybody."
And he proved that in Washington at the beginning of August by reaching the final, beating Sjeng Schalken and Marcelo Rios along the way.
He lost the final to James Blake, the second time this year he had fallen at the last hurdle.
But the following week he bounced back by winning the title at Long Island, sending his growing army of fans in Asia into raptures.
"Tennis is getting bigger and bigger in Thailand, especially right now," he said.
"Especially now I'm doing well. People are following it on TV and are excited about it."
It is no surprise that Thailand, and indeed the whole of Asia, are getting excited about Srichaphan's rise, with few other tennis stars demanding their attention.
Srichaphan will be bringing his lucky red shirt to Britain
Michael Chang remains an iconic figure in Asia after reaching the pinnacle of world tennis but since he passed the peak of his powers, there has been precious little for Asian fans to cheer.
Chang was Srichaphan's childhood idol but the 6ft 1in Thai player combines the fitness and durability of his hero with a more powerful all-round game.
Happiest on hard courts, Srichaphan's only real weakness is his lack of consistency, which was a major factor in his defeat against Rusedski in New York.
Coached by his father, who taught himself tennis by watching videos, Srichaphan is the youngest of three tennis-playing brothers but the only one who tours the world full time.
The most talented of the three, Paradorn was offered vital financial support by a US sports agency, something his siblings missed out on because they could not find sufficient sponsorship.
Srichaphan is intensely patriotic and his sense of national pride is evident not only in the way he graciously accepts victory but also in the colour of his shirt.
As a match reaches its conclusion, Srichaphan is likely to pull on a red shirt, the colour symbolising strength and power in Thailand.
And he promises he will bring the lucky shirt to Birmingham where he will lead Thailand's attempt to upset Great Britain on 20 September.
Arwen and Aragorn
Eowyn and Faramir
Marat, Lleyton, Marcelo, Yevgeni, Serena, Anna k., Venus, Martina H. So they say you're arrogant, tell em to kiss your ***.
So they say you can't control your temper, so what?
So they say you're rude, keep laughing as you win titles
To all the bad boys and bad girls keep on keeping on and screw everyone else.