By Richard Pagliaro
Talk is cheap, but Benoit Paire’s chronic complaints on the state of the pro circuit have proved expensive.
The French Tennis Federation announced today it has ruled Paire out of this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games due to his apathetic attitude on court. The FFT said its decision was made in consultation with Director Technique National Nicolas Escudé and French Davis Cup captain Sébastien Grosjean.
“In responsibility, for our sport and for France, on the proposal of the DTN and in consultation with Sébastien Grosjean, the Comex has decided to remove Benoît Paire from the future list of players who will represent the FFT and France this summer in Tokyo,” FFT president Gilles Moretton said in a statement. “His deeply inappropriate behavior since the beginning of the year seriously undermines the values of sport, like tennis and is totally incompatible with the Olympic spirit.
“I repeat, it is the duty of every player and every top player to respect the values of our sport and it is up to them to be exemplary on and off the court, especially with regard to the young people of our country.
“Given the repetition of deeply inappropriate behavior on the part of Benoît Paire, the FFT Comex, on the proposal of DTN Nicolas Escudé and in consultation with Sébastien Grosjean, captain of the French Davis Cup team, decided to rule out the player of a possible selection at the next Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.”
Décision du Comex de la FFT concernant Benoît Paire.
— FFT (@FFTennis) April 23, 2021
Life on the pro tour amid a pandemic is driving Paire bonkers.
In a candid Instagram post, Benoit blasted the “pseudo ATP circuit” as “sad, boring and ridiculous” and suggests competing in sterile stadiums largely without fans has drained his pleasure of playing.
“I will talk about the ATP circuit which has become sad, boring and ridiculous,” Benoit wrote in an Instagram post. “I know you are going to say you don’t realize how lucky you are blah-blah-blah, but playing in closed stadiums without any atmosphere Isn’t that why I play tennis “
Paire blew up in Buenos Aires last month.
This is so typical of Benoit Paire. A bad call goes against him and he decides he doesn’t want to try anymore so just tanks the match. He’s becoming unwatchable. #ArgOpen2021 pic.twitter.com/lBvMsAUopo
— Sarah (@Sarah_Oestreich) March 4, 2021
Finalement ça vaut le coup d’être nul 😘🖕🏻 pic.twitter.com/PbWsGQLa1A
— paire benoit (@benoitpaire) March 4, 2021
Incensed by what he felt was a bad call, Paire spit on a ball mark he had been disputing with the chair umpire, incurred a code violation then slammed a smash in anger. The Frenchman intentionally tanked match point missing a very slow second serve earning some jeers from the limited fans in attendance.
In response to the ensuing controversy, Paire posted a tweet showing his career record and career earnings of $8.5 million.
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve