“Stay at Home”: Dominic Thiem Criticizes Benoit Paire Over Recent Antics

Published 05/03/2021, 8:47 AM EDT
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – MARCH 16: Dominic Thiem of Austria looks on during his singles match against Lloyd Harris of South Africa during Day Ten of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 16, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)


2021 has started off on a controversial note for the French tennis player, Benoit Paire, with his on-court antics angering fans and players alike. As Dominic Thiem makes his return from injury at Mutua Madrid Open 2021, he gave his thoughts on Paire’s behavior.

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From spitting on the court to celebrating his loss, Paire has admitted losing motivation to play tennis. He confessed he is playing for the paychecks, and his casual comments on the sport have irked people. Thiem was not happy with Paire’s lack of motivation and respect for the sport either.

“No, I do not understand. If you don’t want to play, you stay at home. If you are not motivated, nobody forces you to play.”

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Dominic Thiem in action during his fourth-round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Dominic Thiem suggests Benoit Paire take a vacation

Thiem gave his own example to show where Paire is wrong. Earlier in an interview, Thiem had confessed to struggling with mental health troubles. Thus, along with a physical injury, he took some time out to rejuvenate himself and bring back his motivation. He questioned why Paire couldn’t take that route or go on a vacation instead.

“I think what I did is better: I took some time, canceled my participation in three or four tournaments, and at some point the motivation returns. Once you get out on the track, I think you should be able to compete, even if you are not 100 percent. But if you don’t feel like playing, you better take a vacation,” Thiem said.

(Quotes have been translated)

Paire has already given the answer to Thiem’s inquiry. The French player is happy to collect the first-round paychecks. He has now lost seven matches in a row and has a win-loss record of 1-10 in 2021. He has participated in nine tournaments and has accumulated $194,013 in prize money from them.

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With no ranking points at stake because of the pandemic, Paire is free to not try to win matches. He won’t see much difference in his ranking because of the new directive from ATP. Paire will now play his 10th tournament of 2021, the Mutua Madrid Open 2021.

While Paire is not expected to change his current behavior in Madrid, Thiem’s return will be watched with keen eyes. Given his clay-court credentials, he is expected to do well despite struggling with form.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 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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