Released in the first round of the Masters 1000 in Rome on Monday, after having somewhat balanced his match against Stefano Travaglia, Benoît Paire was keen to put his poor performance after the meeting into perspective. By explaining in particular having been handicapped by his vaccine against the coronavirus received two days ago.
The tournaments follow one another and are similar for Benoît Paire. If he had done better in Madrid last week, winning his first match against Nikoloz Basilashvili, the French tennis player fell back into his pitfalls this Monday in Rome, balancing his first round match against Stefano Travaglia (6-4, 6-3) after having complained at length about an arbitration decision.
But in the post-match press conference, the Avignon player was not particularly angry with the official (“I stuck on the mark, but as I could have done in training with a friend “), or even after his poor performance, which he wanted to put into perspective.
“Already, to begin with, I was vaccinated two days ago, he said. It was what was recommended, to be vaccinated so that life would be better. I took my dose of vaccine and I asked to play as late as possible because it was an important cause and I could not arrive until last night (Sunday) .And in the end they put me today at 10am … I haven’t been able to hit the ball here, nor to train in the last few days. For me, it’s still a game, I did what I could, the result is not so important, the most important c “is having been on the court, having hit balls. Like I said before, an empty stadium, I feel a bit like training. Especially knowing the atmosphere in Rome in normal times. “
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“At Roland there will be a few people, so I’m going to go train, try to take a little on myself to go do a little physics”
And Pair to come back to this vaccine embarrassment: “I still have a little pain from my injection of the vaccine, it is a bit heavy to raise my arm, but I knew it. That’s why I had asked play late. No big deal, that’s how it is. I take week after week. Next week I’m going to Geneva, then to Parma, after to Roland. It will be better when there are people, I’m not too worried as for my tennis. It was a good training today, it remains positive for the future. “
In particular Roland-Garros (May 30-June 13), for which Paire promises … to make a little effort. “I’m going to train, I’m trying to find a trainer, help on the physical level too, he explains. I’m not giving up, it’s just that right now. it’s hard. I’m not saying I’m giving up, I’m just saying that I’m not good in those conditions. In Roland there will be a few people, so here I go. go practice, try to take a little on myself to go do a little physics, and try to be ready. And if I’m not ready for Roland it will be for the tournaments after. serious. I want to do well because I like this tournament and because it is at home, but what I like is the atmosphere. And there in Rome there is nobody , the aisles are empty, the stands are empty… “
As for the “Race” classification, where he is only 121st, Benoît Paire made it clear that he does not care, and that only the ATP classification, frozen this season, matters to him. “I often hear about classification, I am 35 in the world today, I will keep my final in Marrakech, a third round at Wimbledon, my result in Lyon … Even if I go down, I will go down to 50th in the world. We will just have to find a little fun on the court when the pandemic has passed. The Race means nothing, except for the Masters at the end of the year. (…) When you see that I won two games in two years old and still 35, it’s okay. I’m taking advantage of the system. “