Tired Paire unsure of French Open after two positive Covid-19 tests

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Benoit Paire of France leaves the court at the ATP tournament in Hamburg after retiring during Wednesday's first-round match against Casper Ruud of Norway
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France's Benoit Paire, who was forced out of the US Open after testing positive for Covid-19, says his participation in the French Open next week is unclear after twice testing positive for coronavirus at the ATP tournament in Hamburg.

The 31-year-old retired at 6-4, 2-0 down to Norway's Casper Ruud in the first round on Wednesday, later citing fatigue.

Paire revealed he had twice tested positive in Hamburg, but was allowed to play Wednesday after a negative result the day before.

"The problem is that I am tired," a clearly frustrated Paire told reporters.

"I had a positive Covid (test) at the US Open, (spent) ten days in my room, then I had to go to (the ATP tournament in) Rome, I played, but I didn't practise at all.

"Then I arrived here with (a) positive Covid-19 (result)."

The Frenchman said the only symptoms he has felt are fatigue, but "I am not sure if it's the virus or just having to stay in the room for ten days (at the US Open)".

"You practise for one hour, then go back to your room.

"Mentally, it's difficult - honestly if it stays like this, I just want to stop."

Paire painted a bleak picture of living under the uncertainty of his next Covid-19 test.

"I was negative after the US Open, negative in France, negative in Rome, positive in Hamburg - that's all I know," he said.

"You don't sleep," he admitted, worrying about testing.

"I think it's impossible to play tennis like this.

"I try because I am happy to be on court, but I was tired and I can't move, so I had to stop," he added to explain why he retired on Wednesday.

Having been removed from the US Open draw at the end of August, Paire's health is again under the spotlight days before the main draw starts at the French Open.

"It depends on the results of the (next) test, if it's negative, I play, if it's positive, I don't play and I go home - both solutions are good. I can see my family and dog," he said.

"If it's negative, I will be on court and try to do my best - but it will not be my best for sure.

"The only thing I want is the end of the season and to go home to practise. I hope next season will be normal."

On the court, Greek second-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas needed just 59 minutes to beat Britain's Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-1 and set up a second-round clash with Pablo Cuevas.

"It’s very satisfying to be playing that level of tennis, as I’ve missed playing on clay," Tsitsipas, ranked sixth in the world, said in a courtside interview. 

Chile's Cristian Garin is into the quarter-finals after defeating German wildcard Yannick Hanfmann, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).


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