Benoit Paire: "I stopped drinking alcohol"
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Benoit Paire has always been considered one of the most talented but rebellious players of recent years, as well as one of the most controversial. Despite the lower than the high, Paire has won 3 Atp titles in his career and reached, as best ranking, the position number 18 in the world rankings.
After the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, the Frenchman experienced a long negative period, not only in terms of tennis. He talked about all this to his colleagues at ouest-france.fr: "It had been a long time since I felt that competitive fire that I felt." With this very intense phrase, Paire summed up his feelings after winning the first round of the ATP Challenger Brest 2022 against Croatian Duje Ajdukovic.
"It's been two years since I had such a positive attitude on a tennis court. I know I still have to improve a lot in terms of confidence and level of play, but now I think I can get back to my best. I wasted two years of my sporting career and I assume that to recover them I will have to change many things and add many victories like this one." The 33-year-old from Avignon is grateful for the support of his fans in all the tournaments in this category he is playing to try to improve his ranking and return to a position that is much more in keeping with his standards as he is currently in 177th place in the world.
Paire acknowledges that he has wasted two years of his career and wants to finally get them back: "I'll tackle it game by game. I used to come to tournaments to win some money and see what happened, but now I perceive each event as a step forward.
I have been training hard physically, I have done some very demanding tests and my legs are working at their best again. I believe this is the right time. I know I've tried in the past, but not with that belief, because my mind wasn't in the mood to compete.
Tennis had become an obligation, almost a punishment. I know it is difficult for people to understand, because we have the privilege of dedicating ourselves to this, but this is how I felt." The French stopped going to parties and drinking alcohol Benoit Paire then talked about how he got through this tumultuous period: "I focused on the important things.
I decided to be more professional, not to go to parties in the evening and to stop drinking alcohol. I want to give my best and that makes me anxious sometimes, because I know it's impossible right now. The French public has many expectations of me and this puts further pressure on me, but I believe that little by little I will be able to respond." Paire is therefore starting from the Challengers to once again become a protagonist in the main ATP Tour. Tonight, no earlier than 19:50, he will play the eighth final in Brest against Dutchman Jelle Sels.