Benoit Paire has been turning the COVID-edition ATP circuit into a French farce and admits that he’s become a master at gaming the system for easy paydays.

The Avignon player has lost 12 of the 14 matches he has played this season – all the while picking up handy loser cheques week-in, week-out.

Latest defeat for the 32-year-old came in the Rome Masters first round where he lost to local Stefano Tavaglia.

The 35th-ranked Paire said that he is not bothered by his poor season record and will remain in Rome for a few days to sample one of the world’s best restaurant cities.

“I’ll enjoy life on the circuit. I will go to (home base) Geneva with my family, but first I will spend a few days in Rome going to good restaurants.

“I am not afraid of how this could influence my career, I know that I continue to have good shots and I will try to make an effort training a little for Roland Garros 2021,” he told Ubitennis.

Paire, now vaccinated for COVID, has complained regularly about the dreariness of playing in empty stadiums – hence his lack of interest in trying seriously to win.

“The result does not matter to me at all, I just wanted to get here, hit a few balls and take this as a training.

“I have already said several times that in empty stadiums I do not like to compete, but I will continue traveling.”

He insisted: “I’ve not thrown in the towel. When normalcy returns I will train again and improve physically.

“I’m not concerned at all with my ranking, even if I drop out of the Top 50 I would not care.

“The only thing I hope for is for the pandemic to pass and I can play in front of the public again.”

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