Frenchman Benoit Paire has no hesitation in confessing that he prefers playing anywhere but in his native country.
The somewhat notorious slacker whose ranking has slipped form a career-best 18th to its current No. 165, has not won a match at the ATP level in two months and has dropped back to the Challenger level.
Paire told Portuguese media as he played a minor event this week in Lisbon that he prefers to work at rescuing his ranking outside of France due to the home pressure.
“Playing at home is a bit difficult for me at the moment. People expect a lot from me,” the 33-year-old said.
“I was No. 18, so when I come back they expect me to win every time.
“Mentally I wasn’t ready to play my best tennis, so I thought that it would be better to be in a quieter place in Portugal and enjoy my tennis.
“I am very happy to be here and I prefer to play tournaments outside of France.
“If I get back to my best level, maybe I will play in France again. There, every time I win there is pressure.”
Main photo:- Benoit Paire playing at Roland Garros, French Open 2021 by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd