“Didn’t Manage the Situation Well” – Benoit Paire Details His Magical Transformation at Cincinnati Open 2021

Published 08/19/2021, 6:00 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 14, 2020 France’s Benoit Paire reacts during his match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner Pool via REUTERS/Riccardo Antimiani


Benoit Paire is enjoying a renaissance at the ongoing Cincinnati Open 2021. Just days after stunning World No. 10 Denis Shapovalov, he reached the quarterfinals after pulling off another upset win over John Isner.

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Despite enduring a difficult 2021 season, Paire seems to be getting his act together at just the right time. After his win over Isner, he explained how the fans’ return to stadiums helped him.

Benoit Paire admits he didn’t enjoy playing tennis during the times of COVID-19

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, Paire looked fairly good in 2019. He finished the year with two titles and as the World No. 24. However, the pandemic affected his form in a major way as he sunk to #50 in the rankings.

In addition, France blocked him from participating in the Tokyo Olympics due to his outburst after his first-round exit in the Australian Open earlier this year. However, it seems the Frenchman is showing flashes of his previous self, and is loving life as a tennis player at the moment.

Speaking to Prakash Amritraj on the Tennis Channel, Paire admitted he fell out of love with the sport during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the bio bubble prevented him from living the life he liked on the tour.

He said“It was tough for me for one year and a half with the COVID situation. I didn’t enjoy, I was not enjoying playing tennis, to play in an empty stadium, to play in a bubble all week. 

“For me, it’s not the life I like. I like to go to the restaurant, I like to take a beer somewhere. I like the fast food. For me it was difficult, and I didn’t manage the situation well.”

DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Sponsorless Benoit Paire Turns Up in an Adidas T-shirt at Cincinnati Masters 2021

about 1 month ago

Paire: Happy to see fans back in the stands

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While he recalled his struggles through the times of COVID-19, Paire revealed seeing fans back in the stands made him happy.

Aug 11, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Benoit Paire of France plays a shot against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in third round play in the National Bank Open at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

“Now, honestly I’m happy we’re playing in front of people, even if they support John. I was so happy to see them,” said the World No. 50. “It’s a good tournament, I really enjoy since the crowd is coming back. That’s why I love tennis, just to have a connection with the people.”   

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Paire now faces a huge challenge in fourth seed Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. Can the Frenchman add another major scalp to his tally in Cincinnati?

WATCH STORY: Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Benoit Paire and Others in the Biggest Controversies at Italian Open

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Sanket Nair

642 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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