Paradorn Srichaphan (Thai: ภราดร ศรีชาพันธุ์; rtgsPhradar Srichapanthu; Thai pronunciation: [pʰrà.dar sritɕà.pʰán.tʰu]; born 14 June 1979) is a retired professional tennis player from Thailand. He was the first men's singles player from Asia to be ranked in the top 10 of the ATP rankings, reaching a career high world no. 9. His nickname is "Ball". He graduate a bachelor of Social Science from Ramkhamhaeng.

Career

Paradorn started his professional ATP career in 1998. He remained in the lower ranks of the professional circuit for several years. However his ranking continued to improve. After being a surprise finalist in the 2000 Hopman Cup, 2002 was a breakthrough year for him as he managed to get into the top 30 after defeating Andre Agassi in Wimbledon. In 2003 he won his first ATP-level singles title, the Hamlet Cup. He reached the fourth round in Wimbledon where he was beaten by Andy Roddick in four sets, having become the first player to defeat Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam event, He also reached the fourth round in the US Open losing to Lleyton Hewitt. By the end of the year, he was ranked World No. 11 in the ATP rankings. He is however not in favor of playing doubles having won no title in this category on either Challenger or ATP level.

Paradorn is extremely popular in Asia, especially in Thailand. He was Thailand's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece but lost in the first round of singles to Joachim Johansson. His best Olympics performance was second round in Sydney, beating Attila Sávolt before being beaten by third-seeded Magnus Norman. Paradorn plays with big serves and powerful forehands. He uses a single-handed backhand, and is known for being a weak player on clay courts due to his lack of patience when playing points.

At the 2006 Indian Wells masters tournament, Paradorn reached the semifinals and lost against World No. 1 Roger Federer in two sets (6–2, 6–3). En route to the semifinal he beat World No. 20 Robby Ginepri in the second round, World No. 16 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain in the third round, World No. 4 David Nalbandian in the fourth round, and World No. 25 Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in the quarterfinals.

In the 2006 Wimbledon Championships, Paradorn was seeded 29th but was upset in the first round by Agustín Calleri in five sets. He did not perform well in all the events he participated in early 2007 due to wrist injury and he missed basically the whole 2007 season. As a result, his ranking fell to below No. 900. After the end of the ATP Masters Series event in Miami that ended in early April 2007, Paradorn fell entirely out of the ATP rankings. He began practicing as of March 2008, however it took him until the 2009 Thailand Open to return to the ATP World Tour, playing doubles. He retired in June 2010, following a motorcycle crash that left him with two broken hands and a wrist.

Paradorn is sponsored by Adidas, Yonex, and Thai Airways International.

Personal life

Paradorn is noted for his politeness on the court. At each match, he performs the wai, the traditional Thai greeting, clasping his hands together and bowing to the four corners of the stadium. The gesture is seen as thanking the fans and it has become his trademark. His success in tennis led to a spike in popularity of the game in Thailand. The Nation newspaper named him "Thai of the Year" in 2002; in 2003, Paradorn was featured on the cover of Time and featured as one of the year's "Asian heroes".[2]

In November 2005, Paradorn spent a week as a Buddhist monk in a temple outside Bangkok. He adopted the Buddhist name Mahaviro, meaning "great and brave", wore saffron robes and shaved his head. His then girlfriend, Odette Henriette Jacqmin was present for the ceremony.[3]

Paradorn married Natalie Glebova (Miss Universe 2005) in Bangkok, Thailand, on 29 November 2007.[4]

In June 2010, Paradorn officially announced his retirement from the ATP tour but will coach Thailand's Davis Cup team.

In February 2011, Paradorn and wife, Natalie, announced their separation after three years of marriage stating the reason to be "work commitments had kept them apart."

Career finals

Singles (5 titles, 6 runners-up)

Legend (Singles)
Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP International Series Gold (0)
ATP International Series (5)
OutcomeNo.DateTournamentDateOpponent in finalScore in final
Runner-up1.Jan. 2002Chennai, IndiaHardArgentina Guillermo Cañas4–6, 6–7(2–7)
Runner-up2.Aug. 2002Washington, United StatesHardUnited States James Blake6–1, 6–7(5–7), 4–6
Winner1.Aug. 2002Long Island, United StatesHardArgentina Juan Ignacio Chela5–7, 6–2, 6–2
Winner2.Oct. 2002Stockholm, SwedenHard (i)Chile Marcelo Ríos6–7(2–7), 6–0, 6–3, 6–2
Winner3.Jan. 2003Chennai, IndiaHardSlovakia Karol Kučera6–3, 6–1
Runner-up3.Jul. 2003Indianapolis, United StatesHardUnited States Andy Roddick6–7(2–7), 4–6
Winner4.Aug. 2003Long Island, U.S.HardUnited States James Blake6–2, 6–4
Runner-up4.Jan. 2004Chennai, IndiaHardSpain Carlos Moyá4–6, 6–3, 6–7(5–7)
Winner5.Jun. 2004Nottingham, United KingdomGrassSweden Thomas Johansson1–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–3
Runner-up5.Jan. 2005Chennai, IndiaHardSpain Carlos Moyá6–3, 4–6, 6–7(5–7)
Runner-up6.Oct. 2005Stockholm, SwedenHard (i)United States James Blake1–6, 6–7(6–8)

Singles performance timeline

Tournament199920002001200220032004200520062007SRW–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian OpenA2R1R1R2R4R2R1R1R0 / 86–8
French OpenA1RA3R1R2R1R1RA0 / 63–6
Wimbledon2R1R1R3R4R1R1R1RA0 / 86–8
US OpenA1R1R2R4R3R3R2RA0 / 79–7
Win–Loss1–11–40–35–47–46–43–41–40–10 / 2924–29
ATP Masters Series
Indian WellsAA2R2R1R2R3RSF1R0 / 78–7
MiamiAAA2RSF4R2R1R1R0 / 66–6
Monte CarloAAAA2R1R1R1RA0 / 41–4
HamburgAAAA1R1R1R1RA0 / 40–4
RomeAAAA1R2R1R1RA0 / 41–4
CanadaA2R1R2R3R2R1R2RA0 / 76–7
CincinnatiAAAA1R3R1R1RA0 / 42–4
Madrid1AAAQFQF3RA2RA0 / 47–4
ParisAAASF3R2RA1RA0 / 46–4
Win–Loss0–01–11–210–59–98–91–77–90–20 / 4437–44
Year End Rankings991091201611274253628

Business career

In August 2009, Paradorn opened an Italian cuisine restaurant in Bangkok named So–Le Cafe.[5] At the same time, Paradorn also launched an herbal-product company named Magic Thaiherbs.[6] He also tries his hand at acting in Bang Rajan 2 (sequel of Bang Rajan The movie).