Paradorn continues climb with Tata Open title

MADRAS, India -- Second-seeded Paradorn Srichaphan won his
third ATP title Sunday, beating Karol Kucera 6-3, 6-1 in the final
of the Tata Open.

Paradorn, who moved from No. 126th to 16th in the rankings after
reaching four finals and winning titles in Long Island and
Stockholm last season, lost to Guillermos Canas of Argentina in
last year's final.

"Improving on my losing finalist's position of last year here,
this is a wonderful start to the new year," Paradorn said.

"I have a lot of support in Madras, where I came as a nobody
last time, but I was seeded second this year. I'm more confident
this year and am looking forward to taking on higher-ranked players
on equal terms."

Paradorn, the first player from Thailand and the second Asian
since India's Vijay Amritraj in 1980 to be ranked in the top 20, is
looking to break into the top 10.

"I want to make it into the top 10 and for that I must do well in
the Grand Slam events," he said.

Paradorn, who beat Kucera in four sets at the Australian Open
last year, broke the Slovak's serve twice in each set and won the
final in just 69 minutes.

Kucera was broken in the seventh and ninth games of the first
set and the fourth and sixth games of the second set.

Kucera reached the final with wins over defending champion and
top-seeded Canas and fourth-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela in the
quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

Kucera was playing in his first final since winning at Basel in
October 1999.

Julian Knowle and Michael Kohlmann beat Frantisek Cermak and
Leos Friedl 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3) in the doubles final.