'Tasteless job': Benoit Paire tees off on 'boring' ATP Tour rules

Chris Young
·4-min read
French tennis player Benoit Paire says tennis has become a 'tasteless job' without crowds at events. (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
French tennis player Benoit Paire says tennis has become a 'tasteless job' without crowds at events. (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

French tennis star Benoit Paire has described being a professional player as a 'tasteless job' in his latest diatribe against the ATP Tour's coronavirus precautions.

The world No.29 was vocal about his frustrations with strict measures to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus during the Australian Open, and the ATP Tour's ongoing efforts to keep players and the public safe continue to frustrate the Frenchman.

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After losing to Danish teenager Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune at this week's Chile Open, which dropped his record for the year to 1-6, Paire took to Instagram to vent his frustration.

Paire said playing in front of no or limited crowds was sucking the fun out of the game.

His post, which was written in French, added that being able to play in front of crowds was one of the biggest reasons for Paire's passion for tennis.

“Third I will talk about the ATP circuit which has become sad, boring and ridiculous ... I know you are going to say you don’t realise how lucky you are blah-blah-blah, but playing in closed stadiums without any atmosphere isn't why I play tennis,” he wrote.

“Having to stay either at the hotel or at the tennis club and be forbidden to go out on pain of exclusion and a fine, or is the pleasure of traveling?

“Tennis [has] become a tasteless job ... So yes I need time to adapt to this pseudo ATP circuit but I will make the efforts to try to just rediscover the pleasure of playing tennis.

“I am not talking about results I’m going to go play Acapulco and Miami after thinking a lot, and my goal will be just to have a smile on the court and enjoy hitting a ball, that I win yes that I lose I really don’t care.”

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Paire has struggled for form in 2020, to the point where he was docked a point for spitting on the court after arguing with the chair umpire at the Argentina Open earlier in March.

He then proceeded to tank the final points of his three set loss to Francisco Creundolo.

Federer happy with his return after defeat

Roger Federer's hopes of winning a fourth title in Qatar have been dashed after his quarter-final exit but the Swiss said his first event after two knee surgeries was just a "stepping stone" as he targeted full fitness for the grasscourt season.

Federer took the opening set against Nikoloz Basilashvili on Thursday before the Georgian fought back from a match point down in the final set to win 3-6 6-1 7-5, ending the 39-year-old's challenge in his first event in 14 months.

"I'm actually happy that I was able to play back-to-back three-set matches against top players. That's an important step forward to me," Federer, who beat Dan Evans in the last-16, told reporters.

"I'm not 100% yet. I can feel it, I can see it. From that standpoint, (what's) important is to be 100% by the grasscourt season ... I'm still building up.

Roger Federer lost to Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in his return to the court after more than 12 months out due to injury. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)
Roger Federer lost to Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in his return to the court after more than 12 months out due to injury. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

"So this is a stepping stone. I'm actually happy how I felt today on court overall.

"I was very happy with how I was able to handle the tough moments. I didn't feel like my game started to wobble the more important the points got.

"I think I was able to play how I wanted to play, so I think that's always a great sign and a great feeling to have."

Federer initially eyed a return at last month's Australian Open but slow progress in his recovery convinced him to skip the grand slam and he said he would play in events which would help him regain his fitness before Wimbledon, which he's won eight times.

"We've just got to take a real good look at the schedule and ... see how much workload the body and knee can still take, what's the best way to prepare for basically the beginning of the season for me, which is the grasscourt season," he added.

Federer has decided to pull out of the upcoming ATP 500 event in Dubai.

With AAP

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