Benoit Paire struggles through bizarre US Open finish

Benoit Paire certainly seemed ready to say goodbye to the 2022 US Open.

In a bizarre move on Tuesday, the 33-year-old Frenchman was seen packing his bags in the third set against Britain’s Cameron Norrie, who was 5-0 up at the time.

“Benoit is packing his things,” said BBC Radio 5’s Naomi Broady. according to The Mirror. “He put all his racquets in his pocket and handed his sweaty shirt to someone in the crowd. That would not be a shirt I wish to receive. Does he realize he has one game left?”

Paire eventually lost to Norrie 6-0, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0. The French professional who has been accused of refueling in the pastdropped the third set in under 20 minutes, leading tennis pundits to speculate as to whether or not he would be fined for Tuesday’s efforts.

“Paire doesn’t even try. Big fine coming” Tennis commentator José Morgado tweeted before follow up with“He’s trying now.”

Sportswriter Mike Dickson also tweeted“Cam Norrie beats the barely effortful Benoit Paire 6-0, 7-6, 6-0. The first set lasted 18 minutes, the third 19 minutes. If it were a horse race, there would be an inquest by the stewards.”

Paire, who is expected to receive $80,000 for Tuesday’s game, spoke openly about his future in the sport after the loss.

Benoit Paire returns a shot to Cameron Norrie during their first round match at the US Open on August 30, 2022.
Benoit Paire returns a shot to Cameron Norrie during their first round match at the US Open on August 30, 2022.
AP
Cameron Norrie speaks to Benoit Paire after winning their US Open match on August 30, 2022.
Cameron Norrie speaks to Benoit Paire after winning their US Open match on August 30, 2022.
AP

“I was leading 5-3, I could have taken the second set, that would have done me good in my head, but my demons came back, the double faults and it always starts the same,” said Paire French outlet, L’Equipe, per Yahoo Sports Australia.

“Let’s see what happens. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the season, maybe I’ll stop there and see if I continue next year.”

Paire, who was once world No. 18, added: “Even in Grand Slams, I find it difficult to fight. I hope to one day find motivation, something that will make me love tennis. Right now I’m happiest when I’m at home and unhappiest when I’m in the tournament.”

Norrie, currently No. 9 in the world, meets Portugal’s João Sousa in the second round on Thursday.

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