"Need to breathe; Tennis is destroying me little by little" - Benoit Paire after retiring during 1R match in Madrid Challenger

Benoit Paire makes honest admission after 1R loss in Madrid Challenger
Benoit Paire makes honest admission after 1R loss in Madrid Challenger

Benoit Paire has no love lost for tennis at the moment, going by his admission following his most recent loss in the first round of an ATP Challenger event in Madrid.

Paire's 2024 season has been tough, to say the least. The former Top-20 has lost 13 of his 19 matches (most of them in Challenger events and Tour-level qualifiers) so far and is currently on a four-match losing streak.

On Tuesday (April 9), Benoit Paire looked on course to win his first-round match against Oriol Roca Batalla in Madrid as he led his lower-ranked opponent by a set. However, the Frenchman's prospects were derailed soon after, as the Spaniard began dominating him to win the second set and get off to a break lead in the decider.

At 4-2 down, the 34-year-old threw in the towel due to an undisclosed injury, thereby awarding the win to Roca Batalla. Following his loss, Paire took to his X (formerly Twitter) account to disclose that he will take a month-long break from tennis before returning at either the Bordeaux Challenger or the French Open in May.

"Next tournament Bordeaux or Roland Garros see later depending on my head.. need to breathe because tennis is destroying me little by little.. see you soon," Paire wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) handle.

Coincidentally, Benoit Paire was also forced to retire midway through his second-round match against Portugal's Nuno Borges at the Phoenix Challenger last month. The World No. 139, whose last tour-level match came at the Open Sud de France in late January, has failed to win a match on the ATP Challenger circuit since his defeat in Phoenix.

Benoit Paire has won three titles on the ATP Tour

Benoit Paire looks on at the 2015 US Open
Benoit Paire looks on at the 2015 US Open

Benoit Paire was an ATP Tour mainstay for most of his career. Having turned pro in 2007, the Frenchman was considered one of the biggest young prospects. In fact, French magazine L'Equipe even predicted that he would be ranked as high as World No. 2 by 2018.

While the above forecast never materialized, Paire still amounted to a respectable career as a pro tennis player. The Frenchman won his maiden tour title at the 2015 Swedish Open, before adding the Grand Prix Hassan II and the Lyon Open to his bag in 2019.

He also peaked at No. 18 in the ATP singles rankings in January 2016 and has made the second week of the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

In 2024, Paire has played only three matches on the ATP Tour, with his solitary win coming against Andy Murray in the first round of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

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Edited by Neelabhra Roy
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