The downside of being famous

Thailand's golden boy Paradorn Srichaphan, nicknamed simply 'Ball' by his fans, is already beginning to experience the downside of being his country's most famous sportsman.

Srichaphan commands similar levels of attention in Thailand as David Beckham in England, and his blossoming relationship with singer Tata Young has caused nothing short of uproar.

According to reports, the furore started when Young took the unusual step of holding a news conference to confirm that she and 'Ball' were indeed an item and even produced several gifts from the man himself as evidence.

But the newspapers were soon quoting Paradorn's mother, who was upset by Young's bold move and concerned of the effect the relationship might have on her son's tennis career.

Young later said she was so horrified by the media response to her revelation that she "fainted and vomited" and in a telephone interview from a tournament in Lyon, Srichaphan pleaded with his countrymen to treat him like "an ordinary man."

The world number 11 added that he had now explained things to his mother and she had accepted the situation.