“I’ll Pay the Fine”: Benoit Paire Indulges in a Heated Argument After Chair Umpire Ruled Out the Call at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/10/2021, 7:10 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 10, 2021 Benoit Paire of France takes a photograph of a ball mark on the clay after losing his his first round match against Italy’s Stefano Travaglia REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


In a match mired with drama, Benoit Paire lost to Stefano Travaglia in the opening round of the 2021 Italian Open. During the second set of the match, Paire got involved in a controversy with the chair umpire over the ball mark call near the lane line.

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Serving at 2-2 15/15 in the second set, the lines umpire called out Paire’s first service. To confirm the call, the chair umpire, Carlos Bernardes, stepped down to check the ball mark and also ruled it out.

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

Benoit Paire outburst at chair umpire’s call

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Unconvinced by the decision, Paire got embroiled in a heated argument with Bernardes over his disagreement with the ball being called out. Bernardes shot back at Paire by saying, “I went to see 45 brands in this set” and checked with the Hawkeye TV images which supported his original decision.

Still in disbelief, Paire took out his cell phone and photographed the mark of the ball near the lane line. After taking the picture, Paire exclaimed, “If I have to, I’ll pay the fine”, to vent out his frustration.

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However, Paire’s actions resulted in the chair umpire handing a warning to the French tennis player. After the incident, Paire could get over his emotions and committed three double faults to concede the break.

Despite breaking back the following game, Paire could not regroup himself and lost the next three consecutive games, handing over the victory to Travaglia.

Since the start of the season, Paire has suffered an early round exit in most of the tournaments, but his antics at the Italian Open mark a new low.

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With the 2021 Roland Garros just a few weeks away, Paire will hope to improve his form and reach the latter stages of the Grand Slam. Since his debut at French Open in 2010, Paire hasn’t gone beyond the fourth round in Paris.

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Kshitij Tayal

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Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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