© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: ATP 500 – Mexican Open
(Reuters) – The Monte Carlo Masters usually gives players the chance to perform in one of the most beautiful courts in the world. However, for Benoit Paire, it felt like playing in a cemetery where fans are being kept away due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The French lost on Sunday in the opening round of the ATP Masters 1000 against the Australian Jordan Thompson 6: 4: 6: 7 (3): 7: 6 (5), his ninth defeat in 10 games in 2021.
“I just don’t care. There is no magic. What’s the pleasure of playing like that?” The 31-year-old told reporters at the Monte-Carlo Country Club on the French Riviera.
“Of course it’s great to come here, but it’s like a practice lesson. When you’ve experienced the tour and see how it is now, you just want to get away.”
A win against the then 1,165 Chilean Nicolas Jarry in Cordoba in February is the only win Paire has achieved this year.
Aside from the ATP 250 event in Cordoba and the French Open, where he lost in the second round, Paire has lost his opening game in every tournament he has played since the tour resumed last August after a five-month hiatus due to the pandemic.
However, due to the revised ranking system during the pandemic, Paire remains 35th, allowing him to get into the main draw of tournaments.
“It just makes me a little more money. But it’s not fun to play,” said Paire, who has earned over $ 8.5 million in career prize money.
“Usually this courtyard is one of the most beautiful in the world. It seems like we’re in a cemetery.
“The only pleasure I have is when I’m at home without a mask and I don’t care about COVID.”
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