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Country call may end Paradorn run

Bangkok: Thai tennis star Paradorn Srichaphan’s career could be in jeopardy if he is conscripted by the military next year, his father said on Thursday.

Paradorn, 23, who reached a career-high ATP rank of 16 last month, will report for military conscription on April 7 as required by law, his father and coach Chanachai Srichaphan said.

“The law is the law, which everyone has to abide by. Paradorn will definitely report at the boot camp on April 7,” Chanachai said.

However, the tennis star will not necessarily be conscripted. A lottery system allows some candidates to avoid the draft.

All Thai men aged 20 to 23 are required to report to a military camp in their constituency to fill a limited number of draft openings. If they draw a red ballot in the lottery, they must serve for two years. A black ballot frees them from duty. The odds of drawing a black slip vary from camp to camp.

Chanachai hinted that he would welcome an exception being made in Paradorn’s case “in return for the good deeds he has been doing for the country.”

Staying out of the circuit for two years would probably end his son’s career, said Chanachai. “As you are aware, the ATP ranking is updated every week,” he said.

Paradorn, who started the year with an ATP ranking of 126, ended with a champions race rank of 18 and entry system rank of 16 after winning the Stockholm Open on October 28, his second professional title.

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