Benoit Paire admits he has suffered in the past few months
As an athlete who is open to share his issues, Benoit Paire admitted that he has struggled to play tennis for the past year due to COVID-19’s impact. He also deals with the pressure of playing at a high level which weighs heavily on how he plays tennis.
Paire plays in the French Open, which is special because it is being witnessed by his hometown crowd in Paris. However, he lost to Casper Ruud who had an excellent performance against the French star. It was a loss that cut deep because Paire wanted the criticism he received to be lessened.
At the end of the day, athletes are still human beings which Paire wants to point out. Thankfully, the Paris crowd gave him the cheers that he has craved for a long time.
‘I have received a lot of criticism in the last few months’, Paire said. ‘When I took the field today I didn't know how the crowd would react. I will always remember this for the expressions of affection I received today, from everyone. Eventually, I broke down, but they weren't tears of pain’.
For Paire, tennis is not only the sport he plays to earn money. It is important to him because he sees it as an escape from the problems of real life. Yes, he has played some bad events over the past year but it is obvious it has affected him.
‘I've cried for everything I've been through in the last few months’, Paire said. ‘My family knows I'm not happy right now and they have had a hard time. If I let myself go it was because I had a knot in my stomach, I could no longer restrain myself. Sometimes people enjoy watching my tennis, but lately, the media have only shown my negative side’.
The French Open has proved Paire can still play at a high level even if he’s faced with top-tier competition. While there is some valid criticism about his play, you can expect athletes will be affected by a barrage of messages about him on the news.
Words: Cholo Martin