- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 18, 2002

Phan-tastic
Although the Andre Agassi-James Blake match was an all-American affair, the afternoon semifinal between Chile's Marcelo Rios and Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan featured an international flavor not to mention a World Cup-like fan throwdown nearly as entertaining as the match itself.
In the east bleachers, Thai fans blew on noisemakers and chanted "Par-a-dorn" and "Thai-land"; a few held illustrated signs depicting an elephant, a variation of a smiley face and a caricature of Srichaphan performing his traditional post-match half-bow.
On the other side of the stadium, a large Chilean flag was draped across the upper deck, while Rios backers occasionally broke into soccer-style chants (in Spanish, of course).
The winning side? Before the match, the pumped-up Chileans brought the noise but during play, the Thais delivered the, er, funk, getting more and more rowdy with every game.
On Friday evening, Srichaphan attended a barbecue at the Thai embassy, where he mingled with many of the fans.
"There's a lot of people out there," Srichaphan said. "When I'm playing at home, it's just like that."

Doubling down
Maybe it's better that Bob Bryan and Justin Gimelstob both lost in the second round of the singles draw. Both needed all the energy they could muster during yesterday afternoon's doubles semifinal, as Bryan and twin brother Mike defeated Gimelstob and Michael Hill 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in a hard-fought match that took two hours and 27 minutes to complete.


Some advantage
Before his semifinal victory over Agassi, Blake owned 41 career victories on the ATP Tour.
By contrast, Agassi the winner of 725 career Tour matches had won 38 times in Washington alone.
Patrick Hruby

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