His cry tears the sky of Madrid.
With his fists clenched, Benoît Paire can finally let his joy, his rage and his relief explode.
On his second match point, the French player won in straight sets (6-4, 7-5), this Tuesday afternoon, in front of Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili (world No. 31) in the first round of the Masters 1000 from Madrid.
It is the first time in 641 days, and his success against John Isner in Washington in 2019, that the world number 35, whose ranking is frozen due to the health crisis, has beaten an opponent as well classified.
Pair raising their arms to the sky in victory is an image no longer used to see on tennis courts.
Since the opening of the season, Benoît Paire had indeed accumulated defeats, disappointments and bloodshed.
He had thus lost ten of the eleven games played in 2021. His only victory dates back to February 26 and a success in the quarter-finals of the Cordoba tournament (Argentina) against Chilean Nicolas Jarry.
PUMPED UP PAIRE 😁
A second win of 2021 for @benoitpaire, who beats Basilashvili 6-4 7-5 to reach R2 at #MMOpen pic.twitter.com/2delMNz81p
- Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 4, 2021
For months, Paire has especially stood out for his “borderline” attitude, made up of verbal slippages linked to his discomfort and cocktail glasses posted on social networks.
Already pinned in mid-March by the ethics committee of the FFT after his calamitous American tour and his spitting during the match against Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo in the 2nd round of the ATP tournament in Buenos Aires on March 4, he had relapsed after his elimination in the 1st round of Monte-Carlo against Jordan Thompson (4-6, 7-6, 6-7) on April 11.
Selfie with supporters
“Frankly, I don't give a damn about this game.
The circuit is rotten.
Win or lose in such conditions, I don't care.
I no longer have the spark, ”he said.
In Barcelona, on April 19, he again expressed his disagreement with the referee by spitting on the ground, a few seconds after a heated exchange with the latter ... Attitudes which provoked the ire of the French Federation, and its new president Gilles Moretton, who excluded him from the selection for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Benoît Paire, the only player who has his own ultras 🔥🔥🔥
(🎥 @benoitpaire) pic.twitter.com/rUSmpUvHju
- We Are Tennis France (@WeAreTennisFR) May 4, 2021
The end of this incredible black series was well worth a friendly selfie and all smiles with the supporters present on the Spanish court who did not stop encouraging the French throughout the meeting. A few days before his 32th birthday (which he will celebrate on Saturday), Paire has proven that he is still a tennis player. Good news one month before the start of Roland Garros ... By then he will be opposed in the next round to the Greek Stéfanos Tsitsipás, one of the players in form on clay, who remains on a victory in Monte-Carlo and a final in Barcelona.