Controversial “don’t-care” French player Benoit Paire has explained his increasing lack of interest in his sport, whose foundations have been shaken by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The No. 31 is well known for a short fuse on court, with the Millennial-bearded 31-year-old consistently casual about his performances – or lack of them.
Paire’s racquets frequently take the brunt of his disappointment while opponents can marvel at his lack of interest in proceedings when the mood is not right.
Paire himself explained his laid-back mindset after a first-round defeat in Acapulco, his ninth out of ten matches played this season.
He blamed the tennis “bubble” concept which week after week limits players to controlled movements solely between locked-down hotel rooms and often empty tournament venues
Pair told L’Equipe: “I am better here (Acapulco) than in France where we are confined from 6 pm (the Paris lockdown was extended this week for another month)..
“The only thing I can think of is getting out of the bubble, it’s the only goal I have at every tournament.
“I arrive, I take some money and I go to the next tournament: I do my job “
Paire joined with Canadian Denis Shapovalov who admitted after reaching the Dubai semi-finals that prize money reductions in tennis are making life hard for all players, with motivation the first element to suffer.
“On the current circuit there is a lot of profit to be lost,” Paire said. “If you win an ATP 250, you only pocket $ USD 30,000. Why work like crazy to win only a bit more, I can earn USD 10,000 by losing a match after a first-round bye.”
Paire said that if current restrictions continue, he could soon be gone from the sport.
“Tennis is life, but it is not my life – I won’t go on like this for long. “