Benoit Paire is having a rough couple of weeks on and off the court. In his opening round at the Italian Open all of his frustration and anger came boiling out. The Frenchman is known for having a hot temper but even this was another level of madness.
For context, just a few weeks ago Paire retired from his opening Western and Southern Open match in New York against Borna Coric. He trailing 6-1, 1-0 and feeling unwell. A couple days later, he would test positive for COVID-19 and on the Sunday before the US Open began, he was withdrawn.
Testing positive meant he would not be allowed to compete at Grand Slam and would have to quarantine until he tested negative multiple times. This meant the 31-year-old could not train and he had no preparation for Rome. It also impacted 11 other players who had been in close contact with him, including Adrian Mannarino, Kristina Mladenovic and Kirsten Flipkens.
Paire would ask the Rome tournament director that he play on Tuesday, but he was rejected and responded by putting the Italian Open on blast.
PROGRAMMATION DE MERDE !!! Merci @InteBNLdItalia ???????????????????????? J’ai fait une seule demande c est de jouer mardi pour avoir un jour de plus d’entraînement avec ce qu’il m’est arrivé à NEW YORK et comme je joue un Italien vous me mettez Lundi!! #super #BRAVO @atptour ????????#goodjob #notfair— paire benoit (@benoitpaire) September 13, 2020
“S__ SCHEDULE!!! Thank you 1000 Masters from Rome," Paire wrote on Twitter. "I made a request to play on Tuesday to have one more day of training after arriving from New York and as I play against an Italian you will put the game on Monday!!"
All of his built-up anger would be released on court on Monday. In the hour atrocity, he kicked water bottles, threw his racquet, ranted and so much more.
Benoit Paire's matches are always incredible theater.— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) September 14, 2020
-Claims serve was out afterwards
-Calls for medic b/c ump won't check ball mark
-Told he can't do that because he just called for medic and refused treatment
-Says "I'm injured now" ????pic.twitter.com/uJXhnJmp18
It was less of a match and more of a spectacle that you just couldn't look away from.
Benoit Paire : pic.twitter.com/lEOo2cVft1— PF (@FacileProno) September 14, 2020
The world No. 24 looked like he really didn't care at all. He was pulling out underhand serves and hitting serves before Jannik Sinner was ready to return.
Let's just say the meltdown was much better than the match. After all of the kicking and screaming from Paire, he shockingly only received a warning.
“I had not played in 10 days, staying in my room,” Paire told press. “It was a good training, I’m happy I played one hour. I even played one hour and four minutes. I’m happy I hung on for 1:04. I gave what I could. Jannik played very well."
The 19-year-old Italian managed his composure during the chaos and posted a seamless 6-2, 6-1 win.
"On one hand I can understand, after spending so many days under quarantine in New York. In the end, I did what I needed to," Sinner said.
The world No. 81 will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round, while Paire will compete alongside Nicolas Mahut in the doubles draw.