Paradorn Srichaphan ( Thai: ภราดร ศรีชาพันธุ์ ; rtgs: Pharadon Sichaphan ; pronounced [pʰā.rāː.dɔ̄ːn sǐː.t͡ɕʰāː.pʰān] ; 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 graduated a Bachelor of Social Science from Ramkhamhaeng.


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)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Date Opponent in final Score in final
Runner-up 1. Jan. 2002 Chennai, India Hard Guillermo Cañas 4–6, 6–7 (2–7)
Runner-up 2. Aug. 2002 Washington, United States Hard James Blake 6–1, 6–7 (5–7) , 4–6
Winner 1. Aug. 2002 Long Island, United States Hard Juan Ignacio Chela 5–7, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 2. Oct. 2002 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) Marcelo Ríos 6–7 (2–7) , 6–0, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 3. Jan. 2003 Chennai, India Hard Karol Kučera 6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 3. Jul. 2003 Indianapolis, United States Hard Andy Roddick 6–7 (2–7) , 4–6
Winner 4. Aug. 2003 Long Island, U.S. Hard James Blake 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 4. Jan. 2004 Chennai, India Hard Carlos Moyá 4–6, 6–3, 6–7 (5–7)
Winner 5. Jun. 2004 Nottingham, United Kingdom Grass Thomas Johansson 1–6, 7–6 (7–4) , 6–3
Runner-up 5. Jan. 2005 Chennai, India Hard Carlos Moyá 6–3, 4–6, 6–7 (5–7)
Runner-up 6. Oct. 2005 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) James Blake 1–6, 6–7 (6–8)

Singles performance timeline

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A 2R 1R 1R 2R 4R 2R 1R 1R 0 / 8 6–8
French Open A 1R A 3R 1R 2R 1R 1R A 0 / 6 3–6
Wimbledon 2R 1R 1R 3R 4R 1R 1R 1R A 0 / 8 6–8
US Open A 1R 1R 2R 4R 3R 3R 2R A 0 / 7 9–7
Win–Loss 1–1 1–4 0–3 5–4 7–4 6–4 3–4 1–4 0–1 0 / 29 24–29
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells A A 2R 2R 1R 2R 3R SF 1R 0 / 7 8–7
Miami A A A 2R SF 4R 2R 1R 1R 0 / 6 6–6
Monte Carlo A A A A 2R 1R 1R 1R A 0 / 4 1–4
Hamburg A A A A 1R 1R 1R 1R A 0 / 4 0–4
Rome A A A A 1R 2R 1R 1R A 0 / 4 1–4
Canada A 2R 1R 2R 3R 2R 1R 2R A 0 / 7 6–7
Cincinnati A A A A 1R 3R 1R 1R A 0 / 4 2–4
Madrid 1 A A A QF QF 3R A 2R A 0 / 4 7–4
Paris A A A SF 3R 2R A 1R A 0 / 4 6–4
Win–Loss 0–0 1–1 1–2 10–5 9–9 8–9 1–7 7–9 0–2 0 / 44 37–44
Year End Rankings 99 109 120 16 11 27 42 53 628

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 tried his hand at acting in Bang Rajan 2 (sequel of Bang Rajan The movie).