'Really sh*t': Tennis player savages 'shameful' Australian Open move

Chris Young
·3-min read
Benoit Paire has slammed Australian Open organisers following his first-round loss at the grand slam. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images)
Benoit Paire has slammed Australian Open organisers following his first-round loss at the grand slam. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images)

World No.29 Benoit Paire has teed off on Australian Open organisers after his shock first-round loss to 79th-ranked Egor Gerasimov on Monday night.

Paire was one of 72 people forced into hard quarantine and denied access to travelling privileges thanks to a positive coronavirus case being detected aboard his flight to Melbourne.

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The fiery Frenchman fell 2-6 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 5-7 to Gerasimov on Monday night, resulting in Paire suggesting that his 14-days stuck in hotel quarantine were largely responsible for his premature exit from the Australian Open.

“I think it's shit, and what happened is shameful," Paire told French media on Monday.

“I'm very happy with my level... but this tournament, I think it's really crap.

"There was also a positive case on the flight to Adelaide but there, they had time to take blood samples. We were told to quarantine.

"Either we do the same things and the same rules for everyone. I do not understand why it's not fair for everyone.”

The 31-year-old went on to suggest organisers were not concerned about providing a level playing field, and that the financial need to hold the tournament had been the first priority.

“This match, I could have won it if I had had one or two more training sessions, a normal preparation.

"It's all about the money. There is a huge loss if they don't make the tournament.

"Most players think that there is a little bit of money to be made and they come for it.

"I also play for money. But if you have to make so many sacrifices and things go so badly, let it be such a hassle, at some point you just have to say stop."

Day one crowd of 17,922 at Australian Open

The total crowd at Melbourne Park on the first day of the Australian Open hit 17,922, including day and night sessions in three divided zones.

It was well down on the 64,387 fans that crammed onto the grounds on the opening day of last year's championship but way more than any other grand slam held since then.

The state government is allowing up to 30,000 people per day into Melbourne Park for the Australian Open, which is less than 50% of capacity.

The precautions are in place to provide some social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were no fans allowed at the US Open, only about 1,000 per day were allowed at Roland Garros and Wimbledon was cancelled.

With AAP

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