“Have No Problem”: Benoit Paire Holds No Regrets Over Tokyo Olympic Games Expulsion

Published 05/05/2021, 9:01 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Mexican Open – The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico – March 16, 2021 France’s Benoit Paire remonstrates with the umpire during his first round match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Carlos Perez-Gallardo


French ace Benoit Paire has surrounded himself with controversy in 2021. From spitting on the court to intentionally losing, Paire has surprisingly not been reprimanded by the ATP for his actions. However, the punishment for his antics has come from elsewhere.

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The French Tennis Federation has punished him by barring him from playing in Tokyo Olympic Games.

Benoit Paire during his group stage match against Italy’s Fabio Fognini REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Reacting to the snub, Paire had a rather relaxed approach to it. Holding no regrets over not representing his country in the Olympics, Paire is happy to play other ATP tournaments during that period.

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“I wish good luck to those who will be there. I will not be at the Games, but I will be doing other tournaments during this time. It’s part of the game.” (Quotes have been translated)

He further revealed that he had a long conversation with the federation regarding his Olympic participation and that he’d staked his claim for participation, but the decision went against him.

“I talked about it for a long time with the Federation, it was not a decision that was taken overnight. I have no problem with that. But maybe I show them that at the Games I could have done a little better than they thought,” Paire said.

Paire started the season on a negative note but is now back to winning ways. He defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of Mutua Madrid Open 2021. And contrary to his earlier attitude, he had an enthusiastic response upon winning the tie.

Benoit Paire finally broke his losing streak at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Having earlier admitted to playing tennis only for paychecks, Paire’s change in mind occurred because of the crowd at Madrid. Paire wasn’t a big fan of playing without crowds and thus had lost interest and motivation. But now, as he saw people cheering for him, he was back in love with the sport.

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“Most important for me was the head. When mentally I’m ready to play & focus on the tennis, it’s totally different. When you play in front of people, the thing change a lot. That’s why today it was like Davis Cup for me in Madrid, I really enjoy to play with this crowd,” Paire said.

Benoit Paire reacts as he retires due to injury from his group stage match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Paire next plays fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round. They have played against each other this year at the Mexican Open, where the Greek emerged victorious in straight sets.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Had to Work to Take Some Holidays”: Benoit Paire Hits Back at Dominic Thiem

about 1 month ago

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Bhavishya Mittal

1063 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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