Giant-killer Guillermo Garcia-Lopez capped off a
memorable week in Bangkok by winning his second ATP World Tour title
after a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in the 2010
PTT Thailand Open singles final on Sunday, Oct. 3.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez holds up the champion’s trophy after defeating
Jarkko Nieminen in the final of the 2010 PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok,
Sunday, Oct. 3. (Photo/PTT Thailand Open)
Garcia-Lopez, who had defeated three seeded players
(#8 Michael Berrer, #4 Ernests Gulbis, and top seed Rafael Nadal) en
route to the final, continued his resilient performance, surviving all
seven break points he faced in the first set, while taking his only
opportunity to break the Finnish lefthander.
In the second set, Nieminen upped the ante, playing
more aggressively and coming to the net more often, and broke the
Spanish world #53 in the second game in order to level the match.
In the final set, Garcia-Lopez broke the 60th-ranked
Finn in the fourth game, but dropped his serve in the next game. The
crucial moment came in the tense tenth game. Serving to stay in the
match and with the capacity crowd of 9,000+ spectators on the edge of
their seats, Nieminen saved three match points but the 27-year-old
Spaniard did not waste his fourth chance, and claimed the victory.
Paradorn Srichaphan is seen competing at the 2004 U.S. Open tennis
tournament in Flushing Meadow, New York. The long time Thai No. 1
announced his retirement from tennis at this year’s PTT Thailand Open.
By winning the title in Bangkok, Garcia-Lopez will
move to around No. 40 in the ATP World Tour rankings. He achieved a
career-high of No. 38 earlier this year on May 17. Garcia-Lopez also
became the eighth different Spaniard to win an ATP World Tour title this
This is the second title for the Spaniard. He won his
first in Kitzbuehel in May last year.
Paradorn calls time on tennis career
Following the singles and doubles finals at the 2010
PTT Thailand Open, former world #9 and national hero Paradorn Srichaphan
officially announced his retirement from professional tennis in front of
a packed audience at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani.
Srichaphan became the first Asian tennis player to be
ranked in the top 10, reaching a career-high #9 in 2003, as well as
making it to the fourth round in three Grand Slam events (Wimbledon and
US Open in 2003, and Australian Open in 2004). He won five career titles,
including four hard-court events: in Long Island (2002, 2003), Stockholm
(2002), Chennai (2002), and the grass court event in Nottingham (2003).
Srichaphan, nicknamed “Super Ball” by Thai fans, also
won the ATP World Tour’s Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award in 2002 and
The Thai tennis ace was highly credited for raising
the profile of tennis and interest in the sport in Thailand and Asia.
His success on the professional circuit contributed to an inaugural ATP
World Tour event in Thailand in 2003, which has continued for eight
The farewell ceremony started with President of the
Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand Suwat Liptapanlop acknowledging
Srichaphan’s achievements and contributions to tennis in Thailand, as
well as in Asia.
Srichaphan then began his speech, greeting the
audience, but paused for a moment as the emotion of the moment overcame
him. The crowd responded to his tears with a rousing round of applause
“I still remember the first day I stepped onto the
court and that feeling I will never forget. I would like to leave the
PTT Thailand Open to the Lawn Tennis Association, organisers and
sponsors, and hope the event will continue for years to come,” said
“I wouldn’t have made it to today without support
from my parents, my brothers, and my loving wife, Natalie, and of
course, my fans.”
“Every match on the tour is memorable, but today is
the day I will remember all my life. I may no longer compete on the
professional circuit, but I will continue to contribute to the sport and
my country by using my experience in developing a new generation of
“I also want to thank ATP staff. Since the first day
I set foot in the ATP world, I felt that it was my second home. They
made me feel like home and that’s why I could travel around the world
and spend eight to nine months every year on the circuit without missing
home, though of course, I did miss home.”
Srichaphan received a golden tennis ball as a token
of appreciation from the Lawn Tennis Association president, while the
tournament organizers presented him with a beautiful large framed action
shot of Paradorn competing in the tournament. (Source PTT Thailand
Chiang Mai FC have been drawn to meet the “Warlords” of
Saraburi FC at the Ban Mo Stadium, Saraburi on Saturday, Oct. 16 in the
first round of the end of season play-off fixtures.
Saraburi finished top of the Central and Eastern Division
2 and will pose a stern test to the ‘Lana Tigers’ as they go looking to
progress to the next round of the playoffs and ultimately to gain promotion
to the National League Division 1.
The draw was announced at a meeting held at the Sofitel
Centara Grand hotel in Bangkok on September 29 and was attended by
representatives and chairmen of the 12 teams who have qualified for the end
of season matches. The following games will be played on Saturday 16 &
Sunday 17 October: Saraburi FC v Chiang Mai FC, Trang FC v Phichit FC and
Rangsit v Burirum FC (all on Oct. 16) and Bangkok FC v Chainart FC, Samut
Prakarn FC v FC Phuket and Loei City v Rayong FC (to be played Oct. 17).
As always we will keep you up to date with the progress
of the ‘Lanna Tigers’ in the next issue of Chiang Mai Mail.