Benoit Paire has unleashed a scathing attack at Australian Open organisers over the ‘shameful’ lead-up to the event.
Frenchman Benoit Paire has unleashed a scathing attack at Australian Open organisers, slamming the event as “s**t” and branding Tennis Australia’s handling of the coronavirus-affected flights “shameful”.
The comments were made in the wake of Paire’s first-round Australian Open exit, in which the 29th rank fell to Belarus’ Egor Gerasimov 2-6, 6-2, 6-7, 5-7.
Paire was among the 72 players forced to complete a hard two-week hotel quarantine in Melbourne after three chartered flights were found to be infected by COVID-19. But on the contrary, world No.1 Novak Djokovic and a host of other players enjoyed a much more enjoyable and normal Australian Open lead-up in Adelaide, igniting claims of preferential treatment.
Paire was one of many Australian Open contestants who lashed the hotel food – and he was even more furious about the quarantine conditions in today’s post-match comments.
“I think it’s s**t, and what happened is shameful,” French outlet L’Equipe reported.
“My level of play was good, I think my attitude was good. I hope I didn’t hurt my elbow too much. But otherwise, overall I’m very disappointed with this tournament.”
“There was also a positive case on the flight to Adelaide, but there, we had time to take blood samples, et cetera.
“We were told to quarantine! Either we do the same things and the same rules for everyone. I do not understand why it’s not ‘fair’ for everyone. A truncated preparation, truncated matches. To me, this is scandalous.
“Afterwards, I’m very happy with my level, with what I was able to produce today. But this tournament, frankly – I think it’s really crap.”
Paire even claimed he could have won his first-round clash if his preparation hadn’t been so testing.
“This match – I could have won it if I had had one or two more training sessions, a normal preparation,” Paire said.
“I’m going to go back … and finally enjoy the one thing that’s right here, being able to go out, have a drink, be outside.
“It’s all about the money. That’s it, actually. There is a huge loss if they don’t make the tournament. No matter what, there has to be a tournament. Afterwards, most players think that there is a little bit of money to be made and they come for it.
“Me first, I also play for money. But if you have to make so many sacrifices and things go so badly, let it be such a hassle, at some point you just have to say ‘stop’.
“I don’t quite understand where we’re going, I don’t quite understand what ATP is doing. It becomes borderline grotesque. For me, tennis is not that. Frankly, I’m not enjoying it.”
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