Singles matches became an afterthought at the Thailand Open yesterday as national tennis hero Paradorn Srichaphan returned to the courts in doubles after a two-and-a-half year wrist injury absence.
The one-time world No. 9, now with a protected ATP ranking in the wake of two operations, went down in the first round with Davis Cup companion Danai Udomchoke. The home pair lost to German Michael Kohlmann Alexander Peya of Austria, 2-6, 6-1 (10-6).
The 30-year-old Paradorn said that the brief exposure whetted his appetite for competition — but a final decision on when to resume his stalled career cannot be made for another two months when doctors assess his wrist nine months after surgery.
“I hit the ball OK, of course there is still a lot of work to go. I want to return to the ATP, I think I still have the ability,” said the winner of five titles, who was formerly the point man for the entire Asian game. “I have to look after my wrist, I can’t make a strict timetable. But I hope to play from January, maybe in Chennai, India.”
Paradorn last competed in March, 2007, in California, before jacking in the game for his first wrist operation. He since had a second and is making a slow recovery.
In the interim, he has married a former beauty queen, raced motorcycles — he took a spill on two wheels that didn’t help his wrist problems — and has opened an Italian restaurant in the heart of Bangkok.
Paradorn says the dream of resuming his career remains alive.
“I would have loved to have come back in singles,” he said. “But I knew physically I was not ready. I’ve only been a able to train with the racket for the past two weeks. I need to train for more days from now on, but I don’t want to do a lot of travelling. I have a wife now and tennis is not everything. At the end of the year I should know a lot more about my future.”
Action on court was sparse, with American Kevin Kim picking up an opening victory over German Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-4.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
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