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Paradorn wins final in style

By Allan Jacob, KHEL.COM (

Chennai, Jan 5: The `Thai-ger` was at his ferocious best on Sunday. The killing was short and swift and Paradorn Srichaphan`s victim in the final of the Tata Open, Karol Kucera, just did not have the weapons in his armoury to put up a decent fight. A rather tame end to a fine week of tennis and the holiday crowd went home earlier than expected.

The near-capacity crowd was all for the World No 18 and he gave them just what they wanted with a ruthless mauling of the hapless Slovak, 6-3, 6-1, making amends for the loss in the final last year. The noise distracted Kucera who disintegrated before the Thai`s power game.

Paradorn opened his first service game with a stinging ace which was clocked at 205 km/hr. The forehand was deadly but the movements were sloppy to start with and Kucera was catching him on the wrong foot with some splendid returns.

The Slovak`s fluent groundstrokes were pushing the Thai to the corners of the court. In the fourth service game, the Thai saved two break points to draw level at 2-2.

Kucera soon made it 3-2 on his serve with minimum fuss. But the Thai turned things around in the seventh game with Kucera serving. The returns flew and the Thai caught up with Kucera and then broke his serve with a backhand winner.

His confidence gone, Kucera`s game was in shambles at 3-5. Paradorn attacked relentlessly and the Slovak soon went under to give his opponent a 6-3 lead.

The crowd was on its feet and Kucera was upset. He was broken at love in the fourth game. Paradorn serves were now hurting Kucera, who slid to 1-4. The agony continued for Kucera and Paradorn had changed his shirt to red, smelling blood. He pumped his fist, smiled at dad Chanachai and completed his job for the evening, 6-1.

``I did not expect to win so easily,`` said the new champion. ``Kucera was playing well this week. I made a slow start but then he made some mistakes. I never looked back from then on,`` he said.

``The crowd was noisy but I will get used to it next year,`` said Kucera.

Paradorn earned $ 52,000 for his efforts while Kucera took home $ 30,000.

Kowle/Kohlmann win doubles title

Julian Knowle and Michael Kohlmann beat Leos Friedl and Frantisek Cermak 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3) in a keenly contested doubles final.
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