Benoît Paire, eliminated in the first round of the US Open: “I will see if I can continue next year”

“You led 5-3 in the second set before collapsing against Cameron Norrie (6-0, 7-6). [1]6-0)…
This is a turning point. Bad start to the game. After hitting the ball for a while, I quit after Cincy. I took a little vacation. Ana, I’m going back on vacation so my vacation will be a bit of a break. I did what I could. I was ahead 5-3, I was going to take the second set, it would have been good in my head, but my demons came back again, the double faults, and it started all the time. I will do what I can. I am 167th in the world (173rd, editor’s note), I let myself go, let’s see what happens. I’m not sure if the season will continue, maybe stop there and see if I can continue next year. For now, I need a little rest. I signed up with Rennes, but I really had to cut it.

How deep is your discomfort?
I’m two years old at this point. A little hard. Even if you cut it back… Only the head is missing. It’s not about tennis, otherwise I wouldn’t be leading 5-3 against Norrie who is a solid man. The problem is the head. We’ll see it when it’s an important moment, I’m not good, I have trouble breathing, I make double faults… It’s still my weapon to serve and I see myself doing of four double faults in the tie-break. I will go for a short walk and take some time for myself.

“Control has changed my life. I like that side, being at home. I really enjoy it. Going back to the circuit, the trips, can be very difficult”

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

How do you feel during the games?
I used to hate training, but in matches I have a little thing where I don’t want to lose. There, this thing, I don’t have it anymore. I’m already thinking about what I should do next, what time is my flight. I’m not this jerk. I had to force myself to say “come on”. I was a little embarrassed to be in court. Travel too. Lockdown changed my life. I like that side, it’s at home. I really enjoyed it. Going back to the circuit, traveling, it’s very difficult, especially when I’m not having fun on the court. In Cincinnati, I finished my game at 3 p.m., at 6 p.m. I was on the plane. I have a flight tonight at 7pm (New York time). I did what I could, but the head wouldn’t respond.

“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 will always be there.

Are you still being followed on a mental level?
I saw someone before leaving. I have a blockage that I enjoy more outside the court than in the tournament. At Wimbledon, I just wanted to leave. At the US Open, I was not happy. Some guys, they fight, it makes the difference.

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

Is this the last time we see you at the Grand Slam?
I’m not saying this is the last time you’ll see me at a Grand Slam. If I can find the motivation and desire, I think tennis is still there. In training, I felt very good. If the head wants to come back, it comes right back. 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 any more”, the head decides, not my body. I’m not saying it’s over, but in these conditions, it’s hard to project yourself. This is saturation. When the head comes back, I know I can be a good tennis player. »

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