Benoît Paire, eliminated in the first round of the US Open: “Let’s see if I come back next year”

Benoît Paire, eliminated in the first round of the US Open: "Let's see if I come back next year"

“You were leading 5-3 in the second set before collapsing against Cameron Norrie (6-0, 7-6 [1]6-0)…
It is a turning point. Bad start to the game. It’s been a while since I hit the ball, I quit after Cincy. I took a little vacation. There, I’m going on vacation, so it was a little break between my vacations. I did what I could. I was leading 5-3, I could have taken the second set, I would have gone well with my head, but my demons came back, the double faults, and it starts all the time the same. I do what I can. I am 167 in the world (173, editor’s note)I let myself go, we’ll see what happens. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the season, maybe stop there and see if I pick up next year. For now, I need a little rest. I signed in Rennes, but I really have to cut.

How deep is your discomfort?
I’ve been at this point for two years. It is a little difficult. Even when I cut and go back… It’s just the head that’s not there. It’s not about tennis, otherwise I wouldn’t be leading 5-3 against Norrie, who’s a solid guy. The problem is the head. We still see it as soon as it is an important moment, I am not well, I find it difficult to breathe, I commit double faults… It is still my weapon to serve and I find myself committing four double faults in the tie-break. I’ll go away for a bit and take some time for myself.

“Containment has revolutionized my life. I liked that side, being at home. I really had a good time. Going back to the circuit, to the trips, it becomes very difficult “

Do you feel capable of fighting on the secondary circuit in the coming months?
I don’t know if I’m going to fight because even in Grand Slams it’s hard for me to fight. I hope one day to find a motivation, something that makes me love tennis, find a taste for fighting, competing, traveling. Right now, I’m the happiest when I’m at home and the unhappiest when I’m at the tournament. This is the summary of these last two difficult seasons in the head. I don’t want to get angry on a tennis court anymore. It’s not a good sign: if I don’t get angry, it’s because I don’t care.

How do you feel during matches?
I used to hate training, but in games I had that little thing that I didn’t want to lose. There, this thing, I don’t have it at all anymore. I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do next, what time is my flight. I don’t have this idiot. I have to force myself to say “come on.” It makes me a little sick to be on the pitch. It is also traveling. The lockdown has revolutionized my life. I liked that side, being at home. I really had a good time. Going back to the circuit, traveling, becomes very difficult, especially when I’m not having fun on the court. In Cincinnati I finished my game at 3 pm, at 6 pm I was on the plane. I have a flight there tonight at 7 pm (New York time). I do what I can, but the head does not respond.

“I’m not saying it’s the last time you see me at a Grand Slam. If I find the motivation and desire, I think that tennis is always present.

Do they still follow you on a mental level?
I saw someone just before I left. I have a block that makes me enjoy being off the court more than in a tournament. At Wimbledon, I just want to leave. At the US Open, I don’t enjoy it. The other guys fight, that makes a difference.

Would you miss the atmosphere of the Grand Slams?
My friends, my family, my dog, are with me. I am alone here. I’m not going to miss the atmosphere because I prefer to be at home.

Was this the last time we saw you at a Grand Slam?
I’m not saying this is the last time you’ll see me at a Grand Slam. If I find the motivation and desire, I think tennis is still present. In training I feel very good. If the head wants to come back, it will do so very quickly. On the other hand, if my head tells me “You’ve played enough, you’ve been on the circuit for thirteen years, I can’t give more”, it’s my head that decides, not my body. I’m not saying it’s over, but in these conditions it’s difficult to project yourself. is the saturation. If he turns his head, I know I’ll be a good tennis player. »

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