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Old 09-25-2004, 02:24 AM   #1
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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
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Old 09-25-2004, 02:35 AM   #2
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Relaxed Federer ready for action
TOR CHITTINAND (Bangkok Post)
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.
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Old 09-25-2004, 05:48 AM   #3
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Old 09-26-2004, 01:40 AM   #4
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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

---------

Seedings

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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 01:41 AM   #5
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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).
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Old 09-26-2004, 01:43 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 01:46 AM   #7
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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.

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Old 09-26-2004, 02:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
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?
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Old 09-26-2004, 07:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argentine girl
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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 02:29 PM   #10
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So how much was paid to the others in appearance fees?
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Old 09-26-2004, 05:32 PM   #11
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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

I remember for the Scottsdale tourney, before he pulled out with his hip injury, Andre got $300,000, 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...
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Old 09-27-2004, 05:14 AM   #12
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Federer bids for 10th title of season
Swiss star would like to win in Asia
TOR CHITTINAND (Bangkok Post)

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..
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Old 09-27-2004, 05:18 AM   #13
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Spectators should be in for a treat at the Impact Arena

TOR CHITTINAND (Bangkok Post)

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."
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Old 09-27-2004, 05:26 AM   #14
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A big week for tennis in Thailand

ROGER CRUTCHLEY

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.
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Old 09-27-2004, 05:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Updated news and articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by jirobkk
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
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