Benoît Paire, eliminated in the first round of the US Open: “I’ll see if I resume next year”

“You were leading 5-3 in the second set before collapsing against Cameron Norrie (6-0, 7-6 [1]6-0)…
It’s 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 back on vacation so it was a little break between my vacation. I did what I could. I was leading 5-3, I could have taken the second set, it would have done me good in the head, but my demons came back again, the double faults, and it starts all the time the same. I do what I can. I am 167th in the world (173rd, editor’s note), I let myself go, we’ll see what happens. I’m not sure to continue the season, maybe stop there and see if I resume next year. For now, I need a little rest. I signed up with Rennes, but I really have to cut.

How deep is your discomfort?
I’ve been at this point for two years. It’s a bit hard. Even when I cut and come 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 is a solid guy. The problem is the head. We still see it as soon as it’s an important moment, I’m not well, I have trouble breathing, I make double faults… It’s still my weapon the serve and I find myself doing four double faults in the tie-break. I’m going to 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, 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 at Grand Slams I find it difficult to fight. I hope one day to find a motivation, something that will make me love tennis, find the taste to fight, to go in competition, to travel. Right now, I’m the happiest when I’m at home and the unhappiest when I’m in the tournament. This is the summary of these last two difficult seasons in the head. I don’t even 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?
Before, I hated training, but in matches I had this little thing where I didn’t want to lose. There, this thing, I no longer have it at all. I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do next, what time is my flight. I don’t have this jerk. I have to force myself to say “come on”. It disgusts me a bit to be on the court. It’s also travel. Lockdown has revolutionized my life. I liked that side, being at home. I really had a good time. Going back to the circuit, traveling, it becomes very difficult, especially when I’m not having fun on the court. In Cincinnati, I finished my match at 3 p.m., at 6 p.m. I was on the plane. There I have a flight tonight at 7 p.m. (New York time). I do what I can, but the head doesn’t respond.

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

Are you still followed on a mental level?
I saw someone just before leaving. I have a blockage that makes me enjoy it more outside of a court than in a tournament. At Wimbledon, I just want to leave. At the US Open, I don’t take pleasure. The other guys, they fight, it makes the difference.

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

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

Benoît Paire, eliminated in the first round of the US Open: “I’ll see if I resume next year”