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Updated news and articles

09-25-2004, 01:24 AM
Federer displays form
Published on Sep 25, 2004

[TENNIS] Thai tennis fans, impatient for the Thailand Open to kick off to see their heroes in action, turned up in droves at the Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, yesterday to watch Swiss World No 1 Roger Federer in practice.

The newly-crowned US Open champion, who turned 23 last month, arrived in Bangkok late on Thursday night and yesterday enjoyed a light-hearted practice with his girlfriend supporting him.

Although the supremely gifted Federer laughed and joked during his practice bout, every shot he unleashed was absolutely perfect.

“It’s a nice place. I’m glad to be here, bye,” was all Federer would say to a bunch of reporters, who had hovered around the stadium to cover his every move, after he finished almost an hour of practice.

Earlier, the 2002 Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden appeared on court to start the mouth-watering practice session.

Yesterday’s practice was closed to spectators but a few Japanese kids managed to get into the court and walked away with the signatures of both Federer and Johansson.

The qualifying round starts today at midday and continues through to the following Sunday. Tickets cost Bt300.

Only four qualifiers will advance to the main draw, where at least two Thais have a place – local favourite Paradorn Srichaphan and wild card winner Danai Udomchoke.

The ceremony for the main draw takes place today and Federer will play an official opening match on Tuesday after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra visits as the guest of honour.

Piyarat Setthasiriphaiboon

The Nation

09-25-2004, 01:35 AM
Relaxed Federer ready for action
Saturday 25 September 2004

World number one Roger Federer spent yesterday afternoon practising at the Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani in preparation for the 2nd ATP Thailand Open which begins this weekend.

The Swiss star, who is a triple grand slam champion this year, arrived in Bangkok on Thursday night accompanied by his girlfriend Miroslava Vavrinec. Looking very relaxed, Federer signed autographs and chatted to fans.

Like the other players, Federer is staying at the Dusit Thani Hotel.

The Thailand Open is Federer's first ATP event since he won the US Open in such majestic style two weeks ago.

Yesterday, Federer spent an hour at the Centre Court with his training partner, Yves Allgro who will be playing in the doubles. He commented that the court was ``very nice''.

Federer's first match will be on Tuesday after the Opening Ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra at 7pm.

The draw for the tournament will be held today at the Impact Arena at 2pm.

Federer will give a `Nike Tennis Clinic' at Piyarom Sports Club tomorrow at 4.30pm.

At the court a little earlier were two Swedish players, Thomas Johansson (61) and Robin Soderling (38).

Among the players who have withdrawn from the tournament owing to injuries are Croatians, Ivan Ljubicic (26) and Ivo Karlovic (42), Irakli Labadze of Georgia (42), Cyril Saulnier of France (64) and Russian Dmitry Tursunov (68).

Action begins today with the qualification rounds starting at noon. There will be more qualifying matches tomorrow while the main draw begins on Monday.

Many of the stars will be flying in after competing in the weekend's Davis Cup competition.

09-25-2004, 04:48 AM
Thanks jirobk :)

09-26-2004, 12:40 AM
THAILAND OPEN: A tennis treat
Published on Sep 26, 2004

World’s best players lob into Thai capital

For hardcore Thai tennis fans, the Impact Arena over the next week will be the sole focus of their attention and the absolute highlight of their year. On court throughout the week will be the mega stars of world tennis – in particular world No 1 Roger Federer and the man with the most powerful serve of all, Andy Roddick who would crawl over razor wire to take Federer’s crown.

This is the second Thailand Open, the biggest ATP event in Asia that offers total prize money of US$550,000, and it has attracted about 20 of the world’s top 100 players. Three current or former world No 1 players will be there – the popular Carlos Moya, 1998 winner of the French Open is a last-minute withdrawal.

But local expectations will be behind Paradorn Srichaphan to beat the odds and take his first career title on home soil after failing to live up to the expectations last year.

All eyes, though, will be firmly fixed on four-time Grand Slam champion Federer, the undisputed world No 1 who has dominated three majors this season, missing only the French Open.

After claiming his fourth Grand Slam crown in New York a fortnight ago, the Swiss star will no doubt be keen to add the Thailand Open trophy to his cabinet.

The presence of Federer is not the only treat for the fans. For youngsters, it will be a great chance to see one of the most talented players of all time in the flesh. It will be a shame if juniors who want to pursue a tennis career do not take the opportunity to see up close Federer’s natural stroking of the ball, especially on his backhand. Not every day do you get to watch the world No 1 in the flesh.

Despite standing fans up last year with a last minute withdrawal, Roddick, who lost his top ranking to his great Swiss rival, hasn’t lost popularity in the Kingdom, especially among girls.

Regarded as one of the better looking players on the tour and having rather unique on-court characteristics, he rates second only to Federer as a main attraction.

The 2003 US Open winner yesterday recorded the fastest serve ever at 249kph in the Davis Cup tie against Belarus, eclipsing his 239.7kph serve at the Queen’s Club in June in a match against Paradorn. When Roddick serves, don’t blink or you will miss it.

Shortly after spearheading Russia’s Davis Cup win over Thailand in Moscow, Marat Safin, another heart-throb for the female fans, is back in business and will be vying for back-to-back titles after his recent victory in Beijing.

The former world No 1 and 2000 US Open champion suffered a wrist injury which forced him to miss most of the 2002-2003 season.

But winning the China Open, his first title in two years, is a sign that the big man is back. The only problem he

faces is adjusting to a new surface, in this case from clay to the indoor hardcourt surface, one of the reasons why many big-names exit early from tournaments.

Although Paradorn has five singles titles under his belt – his latest is the Nottingham Open on grass this year – he has yet to fulfil his wish to win a home tournament. A year ago, the world No 20 came close to that dream but lost a thriller to Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in the quarter-finals, a loss that made him weep on court.

This year will be even more of a challenge for the home star. He will need to repeat the superb form he showed in 2002 when he upset many top 10 players in a flurry of wins to emerge as one of the most improved players on the tour.

Realistically, he is not a strong contender for the title judging from his performances this year. Since stunning Roddick in the Paris Masters in 2002, Paradorn has failed to beat another top 10 player.

Meanwhile, lurking quietly in the shadows ready to surprise the unwary is the under-rated Taylor Dent, winner of the inaugural Thailand Open. His serve and volley game might not work effectively elsewhere, but here it is a lethal weapon.

In fact, Dent has yet to lose a singles match in Thailand. He won seven matches in a row from the qualifier onward to claim the 2003 trophy, and when he returned in December for an exhibition, he was still invincible. There’ll be a lot of interest in seeing which player can snap his amazing winning streak.

The opening ceremony with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is at 7pm on Tuesday, after which Federer will kick off his campaign. Channel 3 will broadcast the tournament from Monday to Sunday.

Lerpong Amsa-ngiam

The Nation



1. Roger Federer (SUI)

2. Andy Roddick (USA)

3. Marat Safin (RUS)

4. Paradorn Srichaphan (THA)

5. Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)

6. Taylor Dent (USA)

7. Feliciano Lopez (ESP)

Other main players include Robin Soderling (Sweden),

42, Thomas Johansson (Sweden), 47, Igor Andreev (Russia), 49, Irakli Labadze (Georgia), 57, Cyril Saulnier (France), 58, Ivo Karlovic (Croatia), 63, Dmitry Tursunov (Russia), 69, Dennis Van Scheppingen (Netherlands), 72, Julien Benneteau

(France), 74, Gregory Carraz (France), 78, Alexander

Popp (Germany), 81, Jeff Morrison (USA) 97, Adrian Garcia (Chile), 103, Alex Bogomolov Jr (USA), 106, Todd Reid (Australia), 107, Flavio Saretta (Brazil) 126, Danai Udomchoke (THA), 163, Justin Gimelstob (USA), 256.

09-26-2004, 12:41 AM
Paradorn draws well
Published on Sep 26, 2004

[TENNIS] The draw for the Thailand Open was held yesterday and Thai fans breathed a sigh of relief after the country’s top player, Paradorn Srichaphan, was drawn to face the unfancied Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland in the first round of US$550,000 (Bt22.7 million) event.

Paradorn, who is playing in the Davis Cup tie against Russia in Moscow until Sunday, will play his first match on Wednesday. The Thai has never played Chiudinelli, who automatically entered the main draw after World No 6 Carlos Moya of Spain pulled out.

“I’ve never played against him before, but I’ve seen him play,” Paradorn told The Nation in Moscow. “He’s pretty good. I don’t have high hopes in this tournament.

“I just play it match by match. I know that I haven’t been playing well this year. Therefore, I just want to keep my ranking.”

Thai No 2 Danai Udomchoke, who received a wild card from the organisers to play in the main draw, will face Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic.

“It was exciting at the draw. I hoped both Paradorn and Danai would do well in the draw,” said Chaipak Siriwat, chairman of the Thailand Open organising committee and vice-president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand.

“After watching Paradorn’s form in the Davis Cup, I was afraid that he might need some time to get back to his best form.

“Danai is determined. He got the wild card from the organisers. A chance like this doesn’t come easily, so I think he’ll try his best,” added Chaipak.

World No 1 Roger Federer will start his quest to add more silverware to his trophy cabinet when he plays little-known Nicolas Thomann of France in the first round on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old newly crowned US Open champion beat the Frenchman once in the quarter-final of the Davidoff Swiss Indoor event and will be trying to maintain his unbeaten record on Tuesday night, when the official opening ceremony takes place with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra the guest of honour.

Second seeded Andy Roddick of the United States will be smiling when he learns that his first match in Thailand will be against a qualifier. Marat Safin, who won the China Open almost two weeks ago, will be hoping for his third win against Noam Okun of Israel. The Russian beat Okun twice in 2001.

Roddick, Safin and Paradorn will play their first matches on Wednesday.

Former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden will face the tournament’s eighth seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain. The Swede and Spain’s pony-tailed heartthrob have never played each other in ATP or Grand Slam events.

Moya withdrew from the Thailand Open after injuring his shoulder during the Davis Cup match against France yesterday in Alicante, Spain.

Moya will have to pay back his $100,000 appearance fee to the organisers, but he won’t be fined as he pulled out before the draw took place, according to ATP regulations.

Swede Robin Soderling replaced Moya as the eighth seed.

Piyarat Setthasiriphaiboon

The Nation


Main draw (seeded player is in parenthesis):

Roger Federer (1) (SUI) v Nicolas Thomann (FRA); Attila Savolt (HUN) v Ivo Heuberger (SUI); Paul Baccanello (AUS) v Marc Rosse (SUI); Harel Levy (ISR) v Robin Soderling ( (SWE); Paradorn Srichaphan (4) (THA) v Marco Chiudinelli (SUI); Todd Reid (AUS) v Alex Bogomolov Jr (USA); Dennis Van Scheppingen (NED) v Novak Djokovic (SCG); Justin Gimelstob (USA) v Taylor Dent (5) (USA); Igor Andreev (7) (RUS) v qualifier; Flavio Saretta (BRA) v Prakash Amritraj (IND); Danai Udomchoke (THA) v Jiri Vanek (CZE); Noam Okun (ISR) v Marat Safin (3) (RUS); Feliciano Lopez (6) (ESP) v Thomas Johansson (SWE); Qualifier v Adrian Garcia (CHI); Jeff Morrison (USA) v qualifier; Qualifier v Andy Roddick (2) (USA).

09-26-2004, 12:43 AM
News from Media Information Center

Roger Federer will give an offcial interview on today , 15:00 pm (26 Sep) at the tournament site after that he will go to Piyarom Tennis Sports Club for openning tennis clinic.

09-26-2004, 12:46 AM
Moya will have to pay back his $100,000 appearance fee to the organisers, but he won’t be fined as he pulled out before the draw took place, according to ATP regulations.

:eek: :eek: :eek:

Argentine girl
09-26-2004, 01:55 AM
Roger Federer will give an offcial interview on today , 15:00 pm (26 Sep) at the tournament site

Thank you so much jirobkk.
Where is the tournament site? Do I have a chance to see him if I go?

09-26-2004, 06:21 AM
Thank you so much jirobkk.
Where is the tournament site? Do I have a chance to see him if I go?

yes, will take some pictures and upload in my homepage tonight.

09-26-2004, 01:29 PM
So how much was paid to the others in appearance fees?

09-26-2004, 04:32 PM
I would bet Roger, Andy, and Marat got more than that (perhaps even significantly more). I love Carlos but I don't think he's really a huge crowd draw in Asia like those three are. And Andy is apparently even going to show up :eek:

I remember for the Scottsdale tourney, before he pulled out with his hip injury, Andre got :eek:$300,000:eek:, Andy got $150,000, and the whole rest of the field split another $150,000. These little tournaments pay these guys damn well. Otherwise why would you see people like Marat and Andy fly halfway around the world right after Davis Cup when they really don't have to play and playing won't help their ranking particularly or anything...

09-27-2004, 04:14 AM
Federer bids for 10th title of season
Swiss star would like to win in Asia

World number one and triple grand slam holder Roger Federer has won nine titles this year and is planning to make the Thailand Open his 10th.

Looking very relaxed at yesterday's press conference at the Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, Federer said he would like to make a big impression in Asia.

"I still have goals for 2004," he said. "It would be great to have ten titles this year.

"This is my first event in Asia and now that I'm out here, it puts pressure on me to do well," said Federer, who has won three of the four Grand Slams titles for this season.

Federer said his only previous visit to Thailand was a holiday in Phuket two years ago.

The Swiss star would not be drawn on the possibility of meeting his main challenger this year, world number two Andy Roddick, in the final. The American has only beaten Federer once in seven meetings.

"It would be nice to play Andy in the final but we both have several matches to play if we are to reach the final," he said.

While Federer has been in Bangkok since Thursday, Roddick will not be arriving until late tomorrow night after playing in the Davis Cup against Belarus in South Carolina.

Federer thinks all the travelling could affect his American rival.

"It may be more difficult for him to play after coming in from America. He'll get in Tuesday and play Wednesday.

"But he's good enough to manage this. Maybe he'll come here and play a great event _ but I hope it's me who plays well and not him."

Federer's first match is tomorrow against France's Nicolas Thomann, world number 438, who has just had a layoff through injury.

"I played him a few years ago," he said. "It should be an interesting match."

Federer said it was important to have a balanced playing schedule. You don't want to play too many tournaments, but at the same time you must play enough to maintain fitness," he said.

"This year has been fantastic. I've been able to play the whole season with a lot of energy. I haven't lost to anyone in the top ten this year.

Federer said it was great that Thailand should host such a tournament as this. "It helps motivate the kids to see the top players performing. And Thailand is lucky in that they have their own star, Paradorn Srichaphan."

He admitted he hadn't followed Paradorn's progress closely this year but is well aware of his game.

"He has the potential to win more titles. I hope I play against him as we have never faced one another before," said the Swiss player.

Third seed Marat Safin arrived yesterday, fresh from his victory over Thailand in the Davis Cup. In the first round Safin plays Israel's Noam Okun who has also been involved in Davis Cup action.

Roddick is scheduled to arrive tomorrow night at 10.50pm.

Paradorn is seeded fourth and has a first-round contest against Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli on Wednesday.

The highlight of today's programme should be in the evening session when Spain's world number 31, Feliciano Lopez will take on world number 49, Thomas Johansson from Sweden..

09-27-2004, 04:18 AM
Spectators should be in for a treat at the Impact Arena


Project manager of the ATP Thailand Open, Stuart MacDonnell, believes this year's tournament will be an even bigger hit with fans that last year.

"We've made some minor changes which should make it even more enjoyable for the fans although it is basically similar to last year," he said. There is a slightly different set up of the courts which should give fans a better view. "Wherever they sit it should be a good view of the court action," he said.

Fans can also move from centre court to the court one in the adjoining hall. "There won't be separate tickets for court one," he said.

There will also be more entertainment outside the courts which will include live entertainment in the beer garden and more booths with a host of activities. He said during the tournament it is hoped that the major stars like Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin and Paradorn Srichaphan will appear at the sponsors' booths and be available for autographs.

He said that at the entertainment village there is a speed serve machine and many interactive booths which fans can get involved in. MacDonnell said the stars were keen to perform in Bangkok. "Federer has had a couple of weeks off since the US Open. He should be very fit and in top form."

Although Roddick pulled out of last year's tournament the organisers are confident he will be keen to take part this week. "Roddick probably feels a bit guilty that he didn't come last year so he will come," he said.

He said Safin would be keen to play after winning the China Open last week and being successful against Thailand in the Davis Cup this weekend. "He has never been here before and should be a good mood," he said.

MacDonnell estimates it is costing the organisers about 160 million baht to stage the tournament. "It is a big investment and requires a lot of sponsors who are a great help," he said. "But of course it is the Thai tennis fans who buy the tickets who are the real ingredient to make it a success." .

They also rely on a lot of local volunteers including the linespeople and ball boys.

The tournament has been widely promoted both home and abroad for the past few months. The event will be shown on TV in the US, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and throughout Asia.

"It is the first tournament for Federer since he won the US Open and everyone is hoping for another showdown between him and Roddick," he said.

Vijay Amritraj has also played a key role in promoting the tournament.

"Vijay is an official tournament ambassador and will be here for the tournament and will also be commentating. He has been a great help," he said. MacDonnell said that obviously the organisers would like to see Paradorn do well in the tournament.

"Last year we were a little concerned that if Paradorn was beaten the spectators would not come. But the semi-finals and final were sold out. We had to turn hundreds of people away. Of course they want to see Paradorn do well, but they also want to see the big stars from around the world," he said.

MacDonnell said they were delighted that the event was voted the best organised tournament of last year. "But we are still trying to improve things in various ways.

"This year we are starting the day session one hour earlier at noon," he said. "Hopefully that will give us more time between the two sessions so we don't have any congestion and can get everybody from the day session out of the arena before the evening crowd arrives."

09-27-2004, 04:26 AM
A big week for tennis in Thailand


When the inaugural Thailand ATP tournament was launched in Bangkok last year it was something of a gamble. No tennis event on that scale had been held in the Kingdom before.

It was a vast undertaking with many unknowns. Would the tournament run smoothly and above all would the fans support the event?

After all, the bottom line is bums on seats.

As it turned out, any reservations about the event proved to be groundless.

Fans flocked to the stadium at Muang Thong Thani and on many days it was sold out. It was one of the most successful sporting events ever held in Thailand and to confirm that this was not just wishful thinking, the ATP authorities named Thailand Open 2003 as the "event of the year".

It might be tempting fate, but this year's tournament promises to be even better.

In the coming week at the Impact Arena, fans will have the opportunity of watching the finest players on the planet, including the cream of the crop, the top two in the world rankings, Switzerland's Roger Federer and Andy Roddick from the US.

Federer is coming off a phenomenal season with three grand slam titles from the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. He is top of the world rankings by a mile. Some of his tennis has been sublime and at his best he really does look unbeatable. No less an authority than John McEnroe has described Federer as the "greatest talent" he has ever seen in tennis.

The Swiss star has looked very relaxed since arriving in Bangkok last Thursday and few would bet against him winning the title come the end of the week.

Roddick, whose powerful serve alone is worth the price of a ticket, is a tremendously impressive player and well worth his second place in the standings. "A-Rod" averages over 12 aces per match and is a very tough player to overcome. He looked in imperious form against Belarus in the Davis Cup this past weekend and could well be in the final at Muang Thong Thani later this week.

Another exciting performer is Marat Safin who many Thai fans will have been watching in action during the weekend's Davis Cup playoff against Thailand in Moscow. The Russian star can be erratic at times, but on his day is up there with the best. Defending champion Taylor Dent, who defeated Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero in last year's final, is here again and will not be giving up his title without a fight.

Add to that the names of Swedish stars Thomas Johansson and Robin Soderling, Spain's Feliciano Lopez and the impressive Russian Igor Andreev and it promises to be a week of superb entertainment.

With ranking points at this time of the year being so crucial for the players' position in the final standings, all the competitors have every incentive to perform at the highest level.

One name we must not forget, of course, is Thailand's own Paradorn Srichaphan. Simply stated, without the Thai star's phenomenal efforts in recent years, the Thailand Open would not be in existence.

Last year Paradorn reached the lofty heights of ninth in the world rankings. This season he has slipped to 20th and "Ball" would be the first to admit he has not really hit top form with any consistency. However he is hoping he can maintain his top twenty status in the final months of the season.

There's no doubt Paradorn would love nothing more than to win in his home event and will be going all out to achieve that this week. The tournament means a lot to Paradorn. Few will forget the tears last year when his dreams were shattered by Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic in the quarter-finals. It was an indication of just how much pressure was on him trying to live up to the expectations of his fans.

In organising a tournament on this scale, there is of course massive work done behind the scenes. As was the case last year, handling all the logistics have been the promoters BEC-Tero Entertainment who are vastly experienced in bringing top entertainers and sports events to the Kingdom. Managing director Brian Marcar said that last year's tournament "exceeded expectations" and he was sure this year would also be a great success.

The centre court looks to be in great shape. It plays medium-fast which suits most of the players and is the same surface as used last year.

Everything is in place and it promises to be a great week of tennis, whoever wins the title.

09-27-2004, 04:39 AM
Roddick is scheduled to arrive tomorrow night at 10.50pm.

Thanks for all the articles! You can read the excitement for this tourney there, it's nice to see it's held in such a special regard :)

But what I've quoted above, I have a question.... because of all the time differences it's unclear... is he scheduled to arrive Monday night or Tuesday night (Bangkok time)? thanks:)

09-27-2004, 04:53 AM
Thanks for all the articles! You can read the excitement for this tourney there, it's nice to see it's held in such a special regard :)

But what I've quoted above, I have a question.... because of all the time differences it's unclear... is he scheduled to arrive Monday night or Tuesday night (Bangkok time)? thanks:)

Andy will arrive Thailand as below schedule:

28 September 2004 at 22:50 (Thai time at Bangkok airport) by UA 837

09-27-2004, 04:55 AM
ohmygosh someone published his flight plans?! LOL!

He's not arriving until very late Tuesday night.... I hope no one expects him to win his match :o

thanks! :kiss:

09-28-2004, 03:53 PM
Inconsistency my problem, says Dent
Published on Sep 29, 2004, THE NATION
By Piyarat Setthasiriphaiboon

It seems Thailand has always been a special place for defending Thailand Open champion Taylor Dent of the United States.

The 23yearold visited Thailand for the first time last September, where he won the inaugural Thailand Open.

Dent, who had played since the qualifying rounds, ended the tournament with eight straight wins and came back to Thailand in December to extend the winning streak when he captured the Paradorn Super Tour.

He ended the exhibition tournament with four impressive wins – two over Thai No 1 Paradorn Srichaphan and one each against Australian Andrew Kratzmann and Chilean Marcelo Rios – to improve his record in the Kingdom to 12 straight wins.

The American, an occasional model, yesterday registered his 13th consecutive victory on Thai soil after beating compatriot Justin Gimelstob in the first round of the second edition of the Thailand Open.

“It’s amazing to hold such a record. It would be nice if the winning streak keeps going,” Dent told The Nation.

After winning the Thailand Open last year, Dent captured the International Series title in Moscow the following week. But after that, his best results over a oneyear period were only three semifinal appearances.

“My problem is my inconsistency. I can’t maintain my best serveandvolley tactics. There is always something missing,” he said.

Of his chances of defending his title this week, Dent said: “It depends on how I execute it match by match. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“However, Thailand is such a special place. There’s no tournament in the world which treats the players as great as this tournament. I feel like a king. It’s good to be treated like this. It boosts my ego.”

Dent will be aiming to keep his streak alive when he takes on Dennis Van Scheppingen of the Netherlands in the second round.

09-29-2004, 02:49 PM
Thanks for all the articles :)

09-29-2004, 03:10 PM
Great articles guys :yeah:

10-01-2004, 03:07 AM
THAILAND OPEN: Gain, But With Pain

Published on Oct 1, 2004, The Nation
By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam

Federer, Safin, Roddick into quarter-finals

The Thailand Open’s top three seeds all moved into the quarter-finals yesterday, but none of them did so with any degree of comfort at the Impact Arena.

World No 1 Roger Federer, No 2 Andy Roddick and No 9 Marat Safin had match point after match point in hand but could not execute them comfortably, partly because their opponents fought too hard.

Pony-tailed top seed Federer of Switzerland was taken to the fourth match point before downing his compatriot Ivo Heuberger 6-1 6-3 within an hour.

Witnessed by HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, second-seed Andy Roddick was six times away from victory against countryman Jeff Morrison but needed one more before winning 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

Safin had an even tougher time against Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic who put in a gutsy performance with his back to the wall. The Russian star needed until the eighth match point to seal victory 6-3 6-4.

In a battle of serves, Roddick overcame a brief bout of nerves in the second set tie-break to beat countryman Morrison. The American was so mad at himself that he broke his racquet after losing the second set.

“It slipped through my hands,” joked the American. “I missed easy shots and lost easy points,” he said, explaining why it took him so long to advance to the next round. The American will take on Thomas Johansson of Sweden today.

“He used to be a top 10 candidate and won a Grand Slam. It will be tough, but I’m hitting the balls pretty well now,” added the former world No 1 who was in a very friendly and lighthearted mood when talking to the press.

But the news wasn’t so good for defending champion Taylor Dent of the United States who suffered his first defeat in the Kingdom for a year. His winning streak was halted at 13 by Dutchman Dennis Van Scheppingen. The world No 81 benefited by uncharacteristic errors from his opponent and took the match 6-0 6-4 in only 42 minutes.

Federer was on the verge of victory against Heuberger with a 5-1 advantage in the second set but blew his chances with two errors and a double fault. He had to serve again for the triumph at 5-3 and capitalised on it this time.

“It was one-way traffic until 5-1. He just hung in there. But I knew he was not 100 per cent because he had a problem with his teeth. I just took advantage of that,” said the coach-less world No 1 who relies on his own advice instead of watching video tapes or receiving tips from others before a match.

Instead of a Master Yoda, the winner of four majors travels with his partner Miroslava Vavrinec, a former top-100 player who plays a key role in his life.

“It’s nice to have her with me all the time. We have a good time together and time flies quickly. She also helps make my life easier,” said Federer. He can expect a tough challenge in his next match against rising Swedish star Robin Soderling, whom he beat 7-5 6-1 in Montreal this year.

“He is young, dangerous and will be motivated to play tough guys. I hope I will get through to the semi.”

The grumpy Safin at one time smacked his racquet on court after blowing one of his opportunities to finish off his opponent.

“It wasn’t my day to close out the match. He was rallying at his best and took all his chances. It happens,” said Safin who has been invincible for eight straight matches since in Beijing a few weeks ago.

“It’s very important to be confident. I have to go for my shots and feel confident with my game otherwise you won’t win your matches,” said Safin about his winning streak.

Eighth-seeded Soderling and 2002 Australian Open Johansson also booked quarter-final berths. Soderling vanquished Australian Paul Baccanello 6-1 6-3 in one hour and four minutes.

Countryman Johansson moved past Chilean Andrian Garcia 6-3 6-3. The other quarter-final place was taken by Brazil’s Flavio Saretta who rallied to beat Roger Wassen of the Netherlands 3-6 6-1 6-3.

10-03-2004, 04:08 PM
THAILAND OPEN: Federer too good

Published on Oct 3, 2004

Paradorn goes down in tough semi; Roddick defeats Safin

World No 1 Roger Federer dashed the hopes of Thai fans by defeating local favourite Paradorn Srichaphan to set up a final with American Andy Roddick last night in the Thailand Open at the Impact Arena.

The cool Federer of Switzerland and American sensation Andy Roddick will square off this afternoon for the Thailand Open trophy.

The final might not feature Thai hero Paradorn, but a showdown between the world’s top two players promises a mouth-watering treat for local fans.

A sea of tennis fans flocked to the Impact Arena yesterday to watch the much-awaited dream match between four-time Grand Slam winner Federer and the “Thai Tiger”. And it was worth waiting for as the two semi-finalists provided excellent tennis.

But Federer left Thai fans with a heartache by handing Paradorn a 7-5 2-6 6-3 loss and making it into his 10th final of the season. He is also bidding to become the first player in 25 years to win 12 finals in a row after Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.

The Swiss has succeeded in his previous 11 finals dating back to Vienna last October.

In the second semi-final last night, which was full of heavy groundstrokes and rocketing serves, the second seeded Roddick of the US traded aces and heavy blows with the third-seeded Marat Safin of Russia and eventually won the three-set match 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (7-2) in two hours and four minutes. They pounded down 18 aces each.

After breaking the hearts of Thai fans – and perhaps Paradorn’s too – the talented Federer extended his sympathy to his friend and thanked the fans for driving both of them on and making them put on a great performance.

“I feel sorry for Paradorn. I understand how much this tournament means to him,” said Federer. “The fans were great, as was the match.

“He won the long rallies and really made me work hard. The third set was a gamble and I was lucky to get a break,’’ added the world’s No 1 player, who is now chasing his 10th title this season.

Despite being unable to make his dream a reality by beating the world’s No 1 player, Paradorn was happy to get so close to pulling off his biggest upset in two years. In 2002 he beat Lleyton Hewitt, then the world’s top player, in Japan.

“I’m not disappointed because I played 110 per cent in a match of high level tennis,” he said. “He just broke me at the right time to go up 5-3 and serve for the match.’’

The impressive performance boosted his confidence.

“Staying so close with the world’s No 1 in the match gives me confidence,” said Paradorn. “I expect to play well next year because I’m working on my fitness.

“My game needs me to be in good health. That’s why I asked for help from a new physiotherapist,’’ added Paradorn, who has been working with German Alexander Stober for the past month.

Federer appeared on the way to victory having three set points at 5-2, but the Thai fought like tiger with a 193/kmh serve and created a slam dunk to hold and trail at 3-5.

Squandering his fourth set point in the 12th game, Federer switched tactics by unleashing wicked slices to confuse his Thai rival. Paradorn put up a frantic fight and forced a weak reply from Federer, only to bury an easy volley into the net to drop the first set which had the fans on the edge of their seats.

Errors crept into Federer’s game in the second set which cost him dearly. Paradorn was up a double break by using a sly drop shot to win a break in the first game and had another break to lead 4-1 thanks to a double fault from Federer.

Paradorn was 0-30 down on his serve in the eighth game, but recovered to win the next three points to set up set point. The match was level at one set each after Federer sprayed a forehand long to lose the second set in 27 minutes.

The decisive third set was full of exciting rallies which kept the fans in a cold sweat. Paradorn almost lost an early break in the second game, but got away with a drop volley.

Both traded blows for a long eight game, but finally the impatient Paradorn succumbed to nerves. Paradorn netted one backhand and sprayed another wide to drop the game, which gave the top seed a 5-3 lead. Federer cracked an ace and smashed two forehands to hold the next game at love and win the match.

The next match between Roddick and Safin was one of mixed emotions – anxiety, anger, excitement and fun. It was so close that all three sets went to a tie-break. The Russian dominated the first, but the American won the last two.

After almost two hours, Roddick exploited error after error from the unhappy Russian to jump to a 5-0 lead in the decisive set. Angry over his mistakes, Safin smashed his racquet for the second time on the day.

He trailed 2-6 and finally surrendered the match after being unable to answer a huge serve from Roddick.

Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation

10-03-2004, 04:16 PM

Paradorn holds head high after spirited show

By Tor Chittinand

Paradorn Srichaphan plays a return during yesterday's semi-final against Roger Federer. - BOONNARONG BHUDHIPANYA
The home crowd were disappointed, naturally enough, but Thailand No 1 Paradorn Srichaphan had nothing to be ashamed of as his bid to win the Thailand Open ended at the semi-final stage yesterday.

Paradorn gave everything he had against world No 1 Roger Federer but came up just short, bowing out 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.

The Thai ace, though, was still pleased with a fine effort at home.

''This was one of my best matches,'' he said.

''I got a lot of energy and confidence from the crowd. It's always special to play at home in front of the Thai fans and family and friends.

''It was a great match, I gave 110 percent.

''I was thinking positive and went out there to play my best and have fun. I'm not sorry that I lost _ he is number one in the world after all.

''He broke me at the right time and imposed his game. But the home crowd inspired me and gave me energy. I'm really proud of the way I played and fought today.

''I'm pleased to be back in form now, having got to three semi-finals in my last few tournaments.

''I'm looking forward to next season because I will be fitter than this year as I have now got a fitness coach to help me which will be good for me.

''It is great to see Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin playing in Thailand this year.

''I dreamed five years about having the top players coming to play in Thailand and it has now come true. I hope that in the future the tournament will get even bigger.''

Paradorn's next tournament will be the Japan Open in Tokyo this coming week.

Federer took one hour, 55 minutes to claim victory over Paradorn after losing his first set of the week.

''I'm sorry I had to beat Paradorn in Thailand,'' said the Swiss star. ''I know how much he wants to win here. I know how much it means to him here in Bangkok _ and I know how I'd feel if he beat me at home.''

The pair had never met in an ATP Tour event before, although Federer had beaten Paradorn in two sets in the Hopman Cup mixed team tournament in Perth, Australia in 2001.

10-04-2004, 12:46 AM
''I'm sorry I had to beat Paradorn in Thailand,'' said the Swiss star. ''I know how much he wants to win here. I know how much it means to him here in Bangkok _ and I know how I'd feel if he beat me at home.''


Roger is such a class act. :worship:

10-04-2004, 09:06 AM

Published on Oct 4, 2004

World No 1 Roger Federer crushed Andy Roddick for the third time this season in a final, producing a 6-4 6-0 burst of form to win the US$550,000 (Bt22.7 million) Thailand Open at the Impact Arena yesterday.

The match between the world’s two best players attracted 10,000 fans who packed into the Impact Arena.

The superlative Swiss won his 10th title of 2004 and is now undefeated in the last dozen finals he played stretching back to October, 2003, when he beat Carlos Moya in Vienna and started the run to glory which has included three of the four Grand Slams this year.

But Federer’s one-sided victory lost some of its gloss because Roddick was hampered by an injury to his right elbow.

Federer extended his head-to-head lead over Roddick to 8-1.

But the sold-out crowd, which featured HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, was still treated to some high quality of tennis.

Federer almost scored a double victory yesterday, but he and countryman Yves Allegro lost the doubles final 5-7 6-4 6-4 to Americans Justin Gimelstob and Graydon Oliver.

The singles final was billed as the world’s best player (Federer) versus the world’s fastest server (Roddick).

But somehow the American was out-aced, cracking only eight aces to 11 from the Swiss. It may have been different if Roddick was not suffering an injury.

The victory was special for Federer. It was his 10th title of the season and put him level with records set by tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe by winning 12 straight finals.

“It’s fantastic to win my 10th title of the year. I never thought I would win 10 titles in a year,” said Federer, who has the chance to break the record if he makes it a perfect 13 from 13 at his home in Basil at the end of this month.

“It would be nice to break their records. But I’ll take it one tournament at a time,” added Federer, who picked up $76,500 for his win and received His Majesty the King’s trophy presented by HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya.

Despite arriving in Bangkok more than a week ago, Federer said he did not have enough time for sightseeing and would love to come back as a tourist.

“I went to Phuket already, but would love to go to Chiang Mai one day,” said the world No 1.

Federer is now the third active player with the highest number of singles titles on the ATP Tour with 21, behind Lleyton Hewitt (23) and Andre Agassi (59).

Roddick had to be content being a runner-up again after losing a final in a junior tournament here seven years ago.

But he was not too disappointed and the injury he picked up from his semi-final match against Marat Safin hampered his play yesterday.

“I Just came here hoping to make a difference. But it was tough for me out there. After I lost the serves in the second set, I did not feel good,” said Roddick, who admitted he had performed beyond his own expectations.

“If you said before the tournament I would reach the final, I would have said that’s crazy. I had just a few hours to sleep before my first match. I have been exhausted since yesterday and slept in the locker room.”

While the Davis Cup final against Spain in December is his priority for the rest of the season, one concern for Roddick next year is to challenge Federer for the world’s No 1 position.

“I have two months off to think about it before next year. I’ll go for it next year,” said the American, whose said how nice the Thai people had been to him and his friends.

No one guessed Roddick was playing with an injury at the start of his match.

He kicked off by slamming down five aces in the first game to save three break points.

But the Swiss star answered Roddick’s rocket serves and dominated the rallies with his swift movement and replied to everything the American sent down.

At one stage he chased down a drop shot and won a point from Federer and said to his opponent: “My injury is not that bad.”

At 0-5 in the last set, Roddick tried hard to get away from a whitewash and almost pulled it off at 30-15. But the world No 1 would not give way. He surged to the net to hit a volley and whacked a forehand winner on match point.

Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation