Srichaphan Plans to Enter Politics

Paradorn Srichaphan’s fame in Thailand knows no bounds so few can be surprised the former world no.9 is set to become the latest sports star to move into politics.
 
Now aged 31 and recently divorced from Miss Universe 2005, Natalie Glebova, Srichaphan announced he would run in the next general election under the party banner of Chart Pattana Puea Pandin, a new political party created by coalition partners of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Suwat Liptapanlop, president of Thailand’s Lawn Tennis Association is also the de-facto leader of the new Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party.

However Srichaphan insisted he was not invited or coerced by anybody to take a political path but made his decision because he saw problems in the governance of sport in Thailand and chose this party as it has been vigorously promoting sports.
“No one has persuaded me to enter politics,” said Srichaphan who eight years ago became the first Asian male player to graduate to the top ten on the ATP World Tour.
 
“I want to use my knowledge and capabilities to solve problems and help sport in the country It's my own intention to do so as there are still problems in the country’s sports development.
 
“If I can be useful for the country, I would be happy. So I would like to put sport on the national agenda. I want to use my knowledge to help.”
 
Srichaphan sees sport as a revenue earner, an instrument for national unity and a great alternative to drugs for youth.

Making his announcement in Bangkok, he stressed a desire for sports promotion to be part of Thailand’s national agenda and believed his experience would be beneficial to that end.

Elections are due to take place in early July but Srichaphan insisted before then his party’s leadership would decide if he should run in a constituency or be a party list candidate.

Srichaphan only retired from tennis officially last June but ceased to be a competitive player after wrist problems forced him to miss nearly all of the 2007 season. Any chance of a comeback ended when he broke both hands in a motorcycle accident. He remains coach of Thailand’s Davis Cup team.
 
“I have followed the career of Andy Murray for several years. My interest in Andy has always remained very high due to the fact that he reminds me of Andre Agassi. Both of them have so many parts of the game that you cannot teach, including having the nose of an elephant who not only smells what is going on but also gets to that area without too much thinking.

To have a chance of success both the player and coach must lay all the cards on the table and then explain them one at a time and see where they agree or don’t agree. We must all accept one clear factor of this conversation: the player must be the captain of the ship and the coach must follow his lead. This does not mean the coach rolls over and says yes to everything. The coach must know when to talk and when to listen but when he talks he better know what he’s talking about. I learned how to do this when I was the coach for Boris Becker (Do not say too much and earn his respect).

The coach must know what makes his student tick and how to communicate with them which may include:
Being tough without options
Treat the student with kid gloves
Listen to your student and then give direction.

Nick’s tip - All of the above must be discussed in full and then determine if they are close enough to continue talking about a relationship.

The student and coach must select their practice sessions and what is best for peak performance: players will vary what they do during their sessions.

Andy must have a fulltime coach that makes a total commitment to be with him the entire year. When I traveled with Andre, Becker, Haas, Courier, Seles, etc. I was on the road 36 weeks and then with them the majority of the remaining time. This took a heavy toll on my marriages as you all know but this was my way of showing my student that I am there for you all the time. A coach that is married and has children must think a long time before going one way or the other.

In conclusion I believe that Andy has the ammo to be a top player including winning grand slams. When you select a coach you must examine your game every which way and determine if a strategy plan of playing should be at the top of your list. I do not think that Andy’s game should have a high percentage of defensive play, you now execute.

Andy is no longer a young man, he is a veteran and it’s time to become a warrior. A leader rather than a soldier

Bollettieri later added that if he were decades younger, he would love to be Murray’s coach, but not today.
 
In the light of the firm doubles ‘Indo-Pak Express’ partnership between Aisam-ul Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna, tennis is continuing to tear down the sporting barriers set up between India and Pakistan. Now the Pakistan Tennis Federation has been given the clearance to hire Indian coach Beerbul Wadera.
 
 PTF President Syed Kaleem Imam confirmed that the Ministry of Sports and Interior Ministry had given the go ahead to the appointment. He said: “We have been issued a No Objection Certificate from the Interior Ministry so now we will be in touch with Wadera to work out details with him. We intend to have the coach hold camps across Pakistan for youngsters and top players."
 
Kaleem also reported the federation was in touch with the government regarding a proposal by Qureshi to play against Bopanna at the Wagah border to send out a message of peace and harmony.

Qureshi has already written a letter to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani requesting him to help organize the ground-breaking peace match. Once the government gave clearance for the match, the federation can set up a tennis court for the exhibition match.

The PTF also announced efforts were being made to invite foreign players to play in Pakistan and invitations had been sent out to China, Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and other countries of this region to send their players for invitational tournament to be played here in few months' time.
 
Meanwhile, the ministry of sports has also issued NOCs to the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association to send their team for the Asian Championship being held in India from April 23.
 
Roger Federer has returned hone for training without much worry after his quarter-final loss to Jurgen Melzer at the Monte Carlos Masters. The Swiss says he certainly won't let the defeat bother his preparation for Roland Garros.

For one thing, he's liking the new wrinkle in the ATP spring schedule which swaps Rome for Madrid, leaving the Spanish event with its higher altitude of 1,000 metres now a fortnight removed form the start of the French Open. Under the former scenario, Madrid was played with only a week to spare before the start in Paris.

"This year it changes around that Madrid has the first slot, which I think is clearly better for everybody," said Federer. "We were never really happy that Madrid had the second slot because of the pre French playing in altitude, it wasn't a smart thing.  Now we have it in a better way, which I think some players are happy about."
              
Federer's program calls for training at home followed by Madrid and Rome appearances before starting the bid for his second Roland Garros title in the face of the traditional Rafael Nadal clay momentum.
 
Andy Murray will continue to follow doctor's orders for his dodgy right elbow, even if it means having to miss this week's clay event in his former home of Barcelona.

The Scot was due for a scan after playing with a pain-killing injection in his three-set semi-final loss to Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters. The procedure was necessary after the Scot found himself without a serve and in pain a few hours before the match.

"I was really, really nervous, really uptight about it," the No. 4 confessed in defeat. I'd never had one before. The doctor said it would probably be suggested even if I didn't play the match.

"It's like an anti-inflammatory to basically settle it down." Murray was due for a scan of the injury followed by a required medical visit to Barcelona, where he is seeded second behind Nadal. With the French Open approaching, caution has to be the watchword for it.

"You sometimes get a bit of one basically that sort of has fallen off. It sounds worse than it is. It just feels really bruised because I obviously had a couple of injections.  There's blood and stuff going in there. It was good because I managed to play.  But I would have liked to have finished the match a bit better."

Murray and his team drove to the Catalan capital in around six hours at the weekend where he will wait and see how what is now diagnosed as an inflamed elbow pulls up by the time he must play a second-round match after a bye at the Real Club de Tenis.
 
There has long been concern over the health of the Davis and Fed Cups, which have often failed to earn the commitment of top players as they are staged several times throughout a crowded season.

At the same time the ITF has been deaf to pleas for reform. It wasn’t always that way in Fed Cup, as at one time the competition was held in just one week at one venue. That meant a large site had to be found, of course, but it was never a problem and everyone showed up to play.

But in a desire to increase TV revenue which is used to grow the game worldwide, and to enable more people to watch and to grow awareness of the competition around the world, many years ago the format was changed. Several different ideas were tried before the present system was settled upon, but it is not without its problems.

This weekend a number of the top names will be missing as they are unwilling to sacrifice tournaments used as preparation for Roland Garros. Francesca Schiavone, a key member of the Italian team that has enjoyed most success in recent years, is missing for the World Group tie in Russia.

Unfortunately, through an apparent injury, is Italy’s number two, Flavia Pennetta.

A couple - Maria Sharapova and Gisela Dulko - have elected to chase exhibition dollars instead of representing their country.

Another who will be missing is Samantha Stosur, who along with Jelena Dokic has decided it is better for her to move on from the green clay of Charleston to the red clay of Europe without making a lengthy and exhausting detour to Melbourne - even though the tie against Ukraine will also be played on specially-laid red clay.

Australia’s Fed Cup captain - and Stosur’s coach - has revealed that a request was made to the ITF to play the tie in Spain or elsewhere in Europe, which would have been far more convenient for all concerned, but the request was refused. The result of that intransigence is that the competition has lost two marquee players, and Taylor supports and understands Stosur’s reluctance to play - especially as she faces the defense of her runner-up finish at Roland Garros during a so-far less than spectacular season.

"I think it'd be really silly for anyone to be critical of Sam not playing," he said. "Every other top player misses ties, and now we have other top girls it's a different situation. Before, it wasn't. Sam had never missed a tie in nine years other than when she had Lyme Disease, and she's about to become Australia's most winningest player ever in Fed Cup so there'll be no criticism from me of her decision
 
Picture
Serena Williams grabbed her racket and got out on a tennis court Tuesday, which she said was her "first day back'' after a series of health problems, including blood clots in her lung.

The 13-time Grand Slam singles champion and former No. 1-ranked player has not played an official match since she won the title at Wimbledon in July.

On Tuesday, Williams tweeted: "Cool news guys stay tuned.. Ill update u with a pic.. U ready??''

Then, a little later, she tweeted again: "Look who I spotted on the court. Her first day back...'' That posting came with a link to a photo of Williams in a neon pink bodysuit, standing at the baseline and midway through her service motion with a racket in her right hand.

Her agent, Jill Smoller, confirmed Williams put in some work Tuesday.

"She was out hitting some balls today. Taking it day by day depending on how she's feeling and was very happy to be back on the court,'' Smoller wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

Shortly after claiming her fourth singles championship at the All England Club last year, Williams cut her foot on glass at a restaurant, an injury that led to two operations. The second surgery was in October, and she said she spent 10 weeks in a cast and 10 weeks in a walking boot.

The 29-year-old American was diagnosed in February with blood clots in her lung. After that, she said she needed treatment for a hematoma - a gathering of blood under the skin - on her stomach.

Williams has not said when she might return to competition.

Despite all of the time away from the tour, she is still at No. 10 in this week's WTA rankings.

Her older sister Venus is 15th this week; she hasn't played since January because of a hip injury.
 
Former tennis great Jimmy Connors has returned to coaching 21st century style with a Smartphone app designed to teach the finer points of tennis to the masses. The 58-year-old Hall of Famer gives what appears to be his personal attention to each student's game through soon-to-be-released Android app.

The bad boy Jimbo of the 1970s is nowhere to be seen in "Jimmy Connors 109," a $10 cutting edge testament to the staying power of the old American pros. Connors now gives his on-court tips through the power of the computer chip. "I go back to basics, which is how I learned to play," said Connors at the launch. "I really believe simpler is better, and as I'm describing a shot or a grip, I'm showing you exactly how I did it."

The winner of a record 109 singles titles is keen to show he's no dinosaur, and is quick to point out his possession of Twitter and Facebook accounts. The Californian-based Connors said he's keen to keep in contact with his fans of all generations. "I'm just getting into the social media aspect, but I think it's great. And I hope this app will really engage people and they'll want to chat about it with me."

Since retiring in 1996, Connors has kept a low profile in tennis but has risen to the surface in recent years with his summer Wimbledon commentary jobs for the BBC and his coaching time with Andy Roddick for nearly two years from summer, 2006. One of the highlights of the Connors career was a 1991 US Open semi-final, played at the improbable age of 39.
 
Top Australian Samantha Stosur has taken the decision to opt out of a home Fed Cup tie against Ukraine next week. While Lleyton Hewitt last year flew from Rome to Australia to compete against Japan in a Davis Cup tie and then back to Europe to represent his country at the World Team Cup in Dusseldorf, 2010 Roland Garros finalist Stosur is mindful of the number of ranking points she needs to defend in the coming weeks and is unwilling to undergo a similar grueling schedule.

"I love representing Australia and it has been difficult to prioritize my immediate schedule,'' said Stosur in a statement. "But it is extremely important to me to focus on the clay-court season and get the best possible preparation for the French Open." She is defending her title this week in Charleston, SC, and is due to play next week in Stuttgart and then Madrid.

Australia will represented by Jarmila Groth, Jelena Dokic, Anastasia Rodionova and Sophie Ferguson, while Ukraine will be without the Bondarenko sisters, Alona and Kateryna.
 
Andy Murray has made new overtures to Tim Henman, his predecessor as British no.1 and role model during his formative years, to take a coaching role with the world no.4.
 
Henman and Murray have maintained a close relationship since meeting as part of Britain’s Davis Cup team six years ago and the pair regularly talk on tennis matters.
 
Now Murray has admitted he would like to take things a step further but does not expect too much success in tempting 36 year-old Henman away from life working on his golf handicap, being the family man with three young daughters, a place in the BBC TV front line commentary team at Wimbledon and the occasional foray on the ATP Champions Tour.
 
"I would be interested in working with him," Murray said of Henman. "I might speak to him but I haven't yet. He's an ex-player who I am sure could help me in many respects.
"Unfortunately, I think he's quite happy on the golf course, so I'm not quite sure."
But only a matter of weeks ago Henman distanced himself from the role. “I'm a great supporter of Andy's and wouldn't rule out coaching at some time in the future, but not now," said the former world no.4.
 
Meanwhile Murray has revealed his working relationship with former coach Alex Corretja deteriorated during the Australian Open in January. The pair decided to part late last month.
 
Corretja was unable to join Team Murray for the trip to Melbourne and said: “The problem with the situation with Alex, and this is not a criticism of him, was that he was the most experienced guy on my team so he controlled my schedule.
 
“He obviously wasn’t in Australia and that’s where I feel the relationship maybe broke down a little bit. We still really get on as friends but if someone’s going to be controlling what’s going on, you need to have them there at the big events.”