Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan lifts gold

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, who has been charging up in the world rankings, beat South Korean Lee Hyung-taik 7-6 (3), 6-4 on Saturday for the Asian Games m

Busan:

Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, who has been charging up in the world rankings, beat South Korean Lee Hyung-taik 7-6 (3), 6-4 on Saturday for the Asian Games men's singles tennis gold medal. In a 1-hour, 43-minute final, the top-seeded Paradorn was bothered by a shoulder injury as he let a 4-1 lead in the second set slip away before overcoming the local favorite. "It was a really, really tough match. I kind of forgot what I had to do with him. My serve was off. I felt something was not right with my shoulder. I wasn't confident," said Paradorn, who uncharacteristically served seven double faults. Paradorn said his errors resulted partly from the injury he sustained last week in a doubles match and partly from the noisy capacity crowd of 4,600. The partisan spectators, however, joined in the applause as Paradorn, 23, folded his hands in a Thai gesture of respect after the match. He was handed a Thai flag, which he waved as he ran around the court. "I was nervous in the beginning but the crowd made me more nervous. Just a second before I hit a shot the crowd would start moaning," he said. The victory added to a successful year in which Paradorn has climbed to 28th in the ATP rankings from outside the top 100. He beat No 1 Lleyton Hewitt last week at the Japan Open and Andre Agassi earlier this year at Wimbledon. A heavy forehand wore down Lee on key points. After the match, Lee said he would not play for South Korea in future events, including the upcoming Davis Cup. Instead, he said, he would concentrate on improving his ATP tour ranking, now 84th. Lee reached the fourth round of the US Open in 2000, losing to Pete Sampras. Lee and Paradorn had played four times before Busan and had won two matches each.(AP)

Topics : Tennis
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