“Tarnishes the Image of Tennis”: Toni Nadal Blasts Benoit Paire Over His Unprofessional Pursuit

Published 03/21/2021, 9:18 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 player Benoit Paire is one of the controversial figures on the ATP Tour. His recent on-court antics, coupled with an explosive interview, have angered a lot of people. Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal, was disappointed with Paire’s recent comments on tennis and paychecks.


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Rafael Nadal of Spain in a practice session as coach and uncle Toni Nadal watches. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

In a recent interview, Toni Nadal emphasized that the statement made by Paire hurt the whole sport of tennis. Paire should never have said those comments in public.


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“All this does tennis poorly. These statements are not correct. He would have done better to keep that to himself because it tarnishes the image of tennis.”

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

What did Benoit Paire comment?

Paire, in a recent interview, frankly stated that he had no interest in playing tennis. He was more focused on the paychecks he earns at various tournaments and that he is happy and settled with first-round exits at tournaments.

“I come (for the tournaments), I make some money, and (then) I go to the next tournament: I do my job,” he added. “There, if you win an ATP 250, you only get $30,000. I took a check of $10,000 each time by losing straight. Why tear yourself away like a crazy to win barely more?” Paire said.

Benoit Paire during his ATP Cup match. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Toni Nadal clearly was surprised and upset with Paire’s comments. He also pointed out the fact that Paire is not trying to win matches and tournaments.

“Paire is not doing tennis a favor with these statements. What is not normal is not to fight. There is very little value given to effort lately,” Toni said.

Benoit Paire’s recent antics on court

Recently, Paire was involved in a heated argument with the chair umpire at the Argentina Open. The Frenchman was upset with an ace call. And as the chair umpire went and checked the mark on the clay court, he disagreed with Paire. Subsequently, an agitated Paire first spat at the ball mark and yelled verbal abuses in anger, and was later charged with obscenity.


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Paire then tanked the match, serving deliberate double faults.

This attitude of not trying and losing interest is harming Paire. He is now on a three-match losing streak, and it is anyone’s guess when he will put a stop to it.


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Bhavishya Mittal

958 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.