Srichaphan: top 5 potential??

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by VictorS., Jul 22, 2004.

  1. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    This guy to me seems like such a talented player...sometimes I wonder why he hasn't gotten more out of his potential. I know he's a real risk-taker and sometimes plays a little too aggressive. But I wonder if this guy received better coaching (like a Brad Gilbert-type)....could he compete with the Roddicks and Federers? He has a real presence on the court, moves well, very athletic, powerful ground game, nice serve. Consistency seems to allude him though. What do you guys think?
     
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  2. speedofpain88

    speedofpain88 Rookie

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    Srichapan is definitely a fun player to watch. I agree with you on the fact that he is inconsistent, but he's had problems with injuries and so you can attribute it to that. I thought for sure he was going to be develop into a consistent top ten player when he finished 11th last year (and he was 9th for a while too). Last year he lost a couple times to Roddick, once in Indianapolis at the final and a couple of other times, which I thought was unlucky considering the summer Roddick had. But I think being only 25 he can still become a real threat to Federer and Roddick if paired with the right coach.
     
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  3. Chanchai

    Chanchai Semi-Pro

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    Well... the media (and others) have been hard on the guy for refusing to get a new coach. He made some comment like "I'd rather be coached by my father and be #15 than be coached by someone else and be #1." :shock:

    Well, he has beaten Roddick before, not all that long ago. As for Federer, the way Federer is playing now, I think Federer has the patience to just let Paradorn self-destruct pre-2003 Roger style :p

    I really like watching Paradorn play. Sometimes I'm just shocked at how he can keep pegging lines for so long.

    However, I do think his movement could use improving, but he's got a nice sprint when he's forced on the run and as many know, he's quite a high-risk shotmaker. His backhand's pretty big, but not super effective (potential's there though). Good forehand and serve. And he's won his share of netpoints.

    In some ways... I think he's like some crazy variation of James Blake, crazy high-risk and gets away with it a lot anyways.

    Fun stuff though. I'd like to see him in the top 10 (I think he was #9 oh so briefly though). I'll check on that later at the ATP site...

    -Chanchai
     
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  4. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    When you think of top-tier tennis talents...the list is pretty short. Obviously you have Federer at the top, then there's Roddick, Safin, and maybe JC Ferrero (when healthy).

    To me, based on his talent alone....Paradorn should be in the mix. His movement is up there with Federer and Ferrero. His shot-making skills are excellent. His serve is underrated IMO. Tennis needs star power. If he and Safin can get their act together in the near future...men's tennis has some intriguing possible rivalries. Federer right now really doesn't have a rival.
     
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  5. jings

    jings Professional

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    Big problem he has imo is that his season gets mucked up every year with the clay, where he hits way too flat and is too keen to end points to be effective. He generally starts the season well (fitness, type of courts and a number of tournaments nearer this part of the world). He then flatters to deceive on grass, where he's generally a bit out of touch as a result of a shocking clay court run, but where his game should match up well. To be fair he did win this year in the UK at Nottingham I think. Finally his form builds again on the N American trip through to the US Open. It's not beyond him, as even Roddick who doesn't like the dirt just as much made a clay final this season. He's certainly got the game to be higher ranked than he is, and I wish he'd make the final push through to genuine regular contender status. At present, he's another of those dangerous floaters in the middle of a tournament.
     
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  6. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

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    Top 5 potential? Maybe. The top 5 should really be genuine contenders to win at least 1 of the GS events (and in all probability will by the end of the year.) I don't know I'd consider Srichaphan that good at the moment.. but he's only 25 and has still got a few years before he's the wrong side of 30. I'd love to see him be top 5 but I'm not convinced that he can do it given his respect for his dad. I really think he needs to jettison dad and get a better coach.
     
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  7. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Srichiphan's on the cusp of greatness, but making the last step is often times the hardest. While based on pure game alone and physical capabilities, he DOES have everything needed to be in the elite tier of true grand slam contenders; what he lacks in my opinion is primarily a killer instinct to push him over the top.

    The bottom-line is that he simply does not take losing hard enough, and he does not have that extra mile in him to take the tight matches he needs to take (a la against Rusedski at the U.S. Open). This happy-go-lucky, enjoy life, attitude is perfectly evident during the clay season where every year he tanks it saying that he knows he has no shot on clay, and that he's not comfortable on the stuff, and he'll just go out there and try to have fun and get his cardio in or whatever and in general just DILLY-DALLY around until the hard court season happens upon him again. That attitude might be fine for the grass season which is so short as to be an anomaly, but clay? Clay and hard courts are the life force of the tour where the bulk of points come from, to completely just laugh it off every year like he does is a bit symptomatic of his greater problem as a whole.

    Look at Michael Chang, he knew given his size limitations that he'd never be a true contender on grass, but nevertheless he still duked it out every year on the stuff and even made the quarters one year at a time when the grass courts weren't slowed down like they are now.

    To Chang, every loss was a hard one, a very PERSONAL one, an offense against life itself. Same with Muster. Forget about "putting it in perspective," "it's just a game," and other nice-i-TUDES. Bottom-line, is these guys both had very good but not great games and attributes that if not for their intangible will to win at ANY cost EVERY match would have netted them "nice" careers in the 15 to 40 range from year to year depending on their form. If someone pitted Chang and Muster in their prime vs. Srichiphan on their prime, I take those two guys 8 out of 10 times. Srichiphan would maybe start off hot, but then as the match would wear on, he'd kind of just "go away."

    As it is, Srichiphan lacks that pride of ownership that those guys and really every top player has had. Even Stich, maybe not the most dedicated to tennis off the court, but on it, he was extremely arrogant about his ability. Srichiphan I guess you could say is just a little too nice, just a little too humble, just a little too respectful of his opponents, just a little to much of a I'm content to be a bridesmaid for the rest of my life attitude...if you know what I mean.

    Srichiphan's unwillingness to at least experiment with a new coach as tennis experts have been pleading with him to do for years is part of the problem. If Srichiphan can't manage the killer instinct now, he needs to try to find someone who WILL *will* him to seize HIS destiny, rather than smile and watch it go by. Name any top player, and if you could bottle their pride and will, and give it to Srichiphan to drink in the third set changeovers, THEN you'd have something special; because everyone here is right, got the game, but not the mentality. The NBA equivalent to him would be someone like Eddie Jones, nice guy, nice game, nice athleticism...all very nice...but if I'm a coach, I'd rather have a MEAN guy, MEAN game, MEAN athleticism...in other words a MERCENARY...who's only nice around the wife and kids.

    Bottom-line, Srichiphan is a hummer, not a hardcore metal rocker. He needs to wake up from his daydream, because although he's real popular with the guys in the locker room and the ATP Sportsman of the year, once he hits the court his opponents aren't living in some Walt Disney fantasy...somewhere waiting in a long line, there are a bunch of wicked step mothers, who maybe hags by comparison, but I'll be if they won't try to win by any means necessary. If that means throwing the kitchen sink at you in the third for the knockout blow when you're humming on the changeover? ...well, by all means. A victory is a victory.

    Srichiphan is like one of those kids who only seems to wait for summer to come around again.

    In the final estimate, Srichiphan is not even in the same class as a Safin or Pioline really. Those guys were kind of flaky, but put them in a fifth set of a tight match and the last thing they were going to do was wilt; they'd get stronger. See, Pioline vs. Stich at Wimbledon or Safin vs. Agassi at this year's Australian Open. With Srichiphan, he always seems to give a NICE effort, but he never really seems to be willing to lay it ALL on the line and go the extra mile and take that last step. When the going gets tough, he kind of just goes away. Whenever, I've seen him lose that's the impression I get. It's not really that he just tanks it, it's just that it feels like his spirit kind of just goes away. Say what you will about Safin and Pioline on their bad days, and you'd be write and you can turn the censor off; BUT, if they were having a good day, and they were in a close match, they were/are absolutely going to lay it all on the line. And really that's what it takes to either win a slam or at least go deep in a slam. With Srichiphan, as neon electric as his game is, I can't really picture him making runs at slams even when he's "on" simply because at a certain point someone will simply just out gut him. Say what you will about Rusedski, but that's what a past his prime Rusedski did to Srichiphan at the U.S. Open. And the thing is, Rusedski may not be the most talented guy out there, but has at least made the finals of a slam. When guys have that killer desire, they can go deep in slams. Problem with Safin is that his "killer desire" is fleeting, but when it's there, it's THERE. In other words, you may not know what you're going to get, but when you get it, at least, you know you're REALLY going to get it.
     
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  8. mlee2

    mlee2 Rookie

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    The guy makes just WAY too many unforced errors to be Top 5 (at least consistently). He's flashy and in that lies his strength and his weakness. Without the flash and high risk shotmaking, he's just a typical Top 100 pro but if he keeps his flash the way it is: he'll upset a few names but will never have consistent results because of his limited arsenal.

    The best example of his limitations is his ability to handle high balls. I remember last year Moya making this guy look like an amateur with those high spinning balls. Granted, almost nobody can handle Moya's forehand but Srichipan gave a new definition to being 0wned.
     
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  9. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Exactly! And that's okay. But, he'll never make #5 over the course of a year's play.
     
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  10. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Like how Jan Michael Gambill gave a new definition to "being owned" when he OWNED Moya at the U.S. Open that one year when Moya came in red hot?

    It's just one match. As a whole though, Srichpiphan's game isn't limited. He owned Agassi from every part of the court in their Wimbledon encounter that one year. In order to "shot make" you need the shots, Srichihpan has them in spades. He was unbelievable in his last two matches when he won the Hamlet Cup last year. He just obliterated Kiefer and Blake, nothing they did phased him. He was just smacking the ball and painting the lines and had an answer for everything they threw at him. BUT, then next thing you know at the U.S. Open he was playing a nobody, and his game looked like cra*ola. Yeah, he was under the weather, but his game looked absolutely wretched against a rank nobody regardless. The year, Pioline made the semis at the U.S. Open and played that amazing match against Kuerten? Yeah, that same tournament he BARELY beat LARS BURGSMULLER, this after having just beaten the two-time defending champion Rafter. Take any given match in isolated terms, and there's an example of every top pro looking like cra*ola...even Federer.

    I have a match of his against Bruguera (at the worst level of play BY FAR that I've ever seen him at) where he lost 6-1, 6-1, and even though he definitely tried; it's quite possibly the worst performance I've ever seen from a so-called "professional" in my life. He couldn't keep a ball in the court to save his life, not even against absolute sitters; it was unbelievable the amount of bricking and mishits he had in that match, his hand-eye coordination looked to be about that of a freshman with a hangover in college. If you were to watch just that one match, you'd assume that he had VERY little talent and absolutely no ability to play against topspin whatsoever, he showed absolutely NONE of the ability he has in that match, not a single flash in the pan even. It's *impossible* to believe that that was the very same human being as the Roger Federer that single-handledly OBLITERATED the U.S. Davis Cup team that very same year, but it was. Like I said, it's just one match. Anybody can look red hot on any given day, and anybody can look lousy on any given day. Overall though, the collective sum of their matches show if they really do have ability or not...both mentally and physically. Overall, Srichiphan simply does not gut out matches the way Muster and Chang, even Sampras, does. Srichiphan's either hot or he's not, not because he physically is not able to persevere and scrap when his game is not all there; but rather because he is mentally weak. He just fades too easily and loses focus too easily, he doesn't have MENTAL staying power in matches. When he's focused and sharp, however, I don't see how his game is limited.

    I try to judge how overall capable a player's ability is by several matches just for that reason alone, simply because in any given match, for any given stretch, a player can look absolutely owned...even Sampras. It's just that even when Sampras was off and his opponent was hot, you still could never count him out, because he had a champion's mentality, which entails having that knack for "hanging around" until the opponent gets shaky. During the Lakers championship three-peat, they were getting "owned" many times by the time the fourth came around, but they had that knack and WILL to hang around and not get shaken. Sooner or later, the opponent would get tight, and they would move in for the kill, close it out in the waning minutes, they had that knack. That's where Srichiphan is most lacking.

    He reminds me of the Cuban era Dallas Mavericks in that sense, all bling-bling, without the substance...i.e. defense, boxing out, guts, and heart when it matters most...but see that's not a physical thing, that's a mental thing. It's a matter of mentally making that commitment, of sacrificing your heart and soul, and putting your body on the line when it matters most. That's what separated Apollo Creed from Rocky Balboa when they squared off against Ivan Drago.
     
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  11. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    !Tym, Do you know Special-K by any chance?
     
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  12. bigserving

    bigserving Semi-Pro

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    I have never been a believer that simply taking losses hard will get a player anay better results in the future. The times that I have seen him play, he competes hard and keeps his head together very well. In spite of what is on the outside, nobody gets to level that he is without a disdain for losing.

    I don't see any glaring weaknesses in his game. He can beat anybody on any given day. If all the stars align for him, top five is not out of the question. My crystal ball says top twenty five is more like it.
     
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  13. larrhall

    larrhall Semi-Pro

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    He has the goods, I believe. I think his movement is quite good. The fitness is excellent. I don't believe he's laid back or close to it, obviously he's quite competitive, likes being a star in Thailand, etc.

    I see his two problems as being what others have said - 1) overly electric shotmaking at times and 2) mediocre coaching. No real game plan, no real coach to expand his shot repertoire so he has a Plan B if ALL OUT HITTING doesn't work. Otherwise, he could definitely be Top 5.
     
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  14. wcr

    wcr New User

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    Paradorn's good but not great. We've seen the best he has to offer.
     
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  15. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    It wouldn't surprise if Srichaphan floundered around the top 20-25 for the rest of his career. But I think his talent is beyond that. If he were to work with a guy like Brad Gilbert or Darren Cahill, I can't help but think that he would be getting to at least the semis at most grand slams.

    As far as his killer instinct is concerned....to be honest, I really haven't seem him play enough. I really have never seen him fight back in a five set match. But, if I'm not mistaken, I think he was down like 5-1 in the second set in the Nottingham final and came back to win? This however can of course be fixed. Agassi early on in his career never even won a five set match...and now is considered a warrior on the court.
     
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  16. nippurr

    nippurr New User

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    AAAA - LOL - You read my mind!
     
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  17. mlee2

    mlee2 Rookie

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    I totally agree with all that you said. The original point I was trying to make is his lack of ability to handle the high-kicking ball. I've watched Srichipan over the course of many matches and he has the most trouble handling guys with loopy shots. He RARELY hits a shot on the rise and that leads him to be pushed back farther in the baseline when he plays those loopy clay courters.

    Hewitt has trouble playing guys with high-kicking shots too but it's nothing compared to the trouble Paradorn has with them.
     
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  18. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    The analogies and phraseology used are too much like SpecialK. He's back.:D
     
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  19. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Was assigned a new password, lost it, forgot about it. Tried not tooooo post, but must-kill-nervous-energy-like-a-robot lately...I hate this screen name it's too boring. I'll change it again if I care enough one day.

    Haha, I'm not tooooooo hard to detect, even working from morning to midnight almost every day, I still post long and hard when something else is pressing on my mind. Call it ABSENT-minded-teeiness.
     
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  20. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Well, from what I've seen of Srichiphan he competes nicely, doesn't really tank, but to me he does not have the competitve EXTRA gear...yet.

    Meaning look into Corretja's eyes during his prime, I havn't seen that kind of I'll do anything to win this match, this is my life, kind of hunger in him. I havn't seen Srichiphan collapse to his knees after losing a match he had on his fingertips yet. I havn't seen him resort to an underhanded serve to survive in a match. I havn't seen him manage to summon something that isn't there...like in that Agassi match from this year's Australian Open. He was hot that tournament, played a nice first set that he let slip away, and after that while he did not tank, he kind of just "went away" and looked to be in good spirits at the match's inevitable conclusion. After one set, he was that tired. That's fine, but I've seen Sampras fight through his own puke and personal malodies to gut out matches. Even at his worst levels of physical conditioning in matches, I never felt like he threw in the towel mentally...a la the Yzaga match at the U.S. Open.

    Chang and Muster made careers out of not just competing hard every match, but by going the extra mile every match. I havn't seen that going the extra mile from Srichiphan yet, that has to come from inside, it's not just a general attitude to have in general. Roddick has that fire in him, and that's why I've always seen great things from him. He just wants it tooo bad when he's on the court. Srichiphan wants it too, just not too unhealthy levels. His qoute about rather sticking with his dad then being #1 is all that needs to be said about this matter.

    With that said, I feel I'm being overly objective (read tough) on Srichiphan simply because he's one of the few players I actually enjoy rooting for anymore. Really, I am almost completely indifferent to every player playing these days, I don't know if it's just because my mind is elsewhere these days or what, but I really have no interest when I watch matches anymore, or at least not about the outcome. I wanted both Coria and Federer to win this year at the French and Wimbledon, but it really wouldn't have mattered to me either way. That's how I kind of feel Srichiphan is, he takes winning and losing in stride...it doesn't eat away at him the way losses ate away at Sampras. I admire that quality in Srichiphan, but I still don't think he has that extra gear in him mentally to be a TENNIS champion...which I really don't hold in the highest esteem, well, at least not as in comparison to being a champion in life as a person, which I think Srichiphan is...incredibly bounty soft 'tude to him in person.

    Maybe it'll take just ONE signature, "instant classic" match where he'll find out he has that INTANGIBLE will to win, the will that just won't quit even when you're puking, the will that won't allow him to kind of just excuse himself from the tight moments by playing "electric" brain dead tennis. There's a difference between playing brain dead, and focused electric tennis. Srichiphan can do both, he only does the brain dead part when he's feeling tired like against Agassi or zonked like against Rusedski. Next time, I see him in a potential "defining moment" at a slam, I want him to pull a Chang...or a puking Sampras. That entails resorting to his guts and mind, rather than his strokes...as Becker would say, the fifth set's not about tennis anymore, it's about the heart. It's only when one has hit the wall, that one learns what one's TRUEST limits are. It's like heading off into the unknown, into space, the new frontier...at that point, anything goes, you make your own destiny and only the TRULY strongest will find the inspiration and RESOURCEFULNESS to survive. I feel that if Srichiphan can taste THAT sort of victory just once on a big stage; I think then and only then will Srichiphan become truly a man. Right now, he plays tennis like a child...an enthusiastic child, but there's a difference between enthusiasm and a man on a mission.
     
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