‘If you don’t feel like playing, take a vacation,’ Dominic Thiem tells Benoit Paire

Dominic Thiem has taken aim at Benoit Paire after the Frenchman’s recent controversial behaviour on the ATP Tour. 

Paire has made no secret of his unhappiness at playing tennis during the coronavirus pandemic, openly admitting that it is his ‘priority’ to lose in tournaments early to get out of the bio-secure bubble.

His behaviour on court has matched that admission too, with him spitting on the court and clearly tanking during some matches.

Thiem has suffered his own mental struggles due to the coronavirus crisis, and has been similarly open with the media about them.

He, though, approached it all differently, withdrawing himself from the ATP Tour and attempting to recharge his batteries on the practice court instead.

Asked by the press in Madrid if he could empathise with Benoit Paire, Thiem said: “No, I don’t understand.

“If you don’t want to play, you stay at home. If you are not motivated, nobody forces you to play.

“I think what I did is better: I took some time, cancelled my participation in three or four tournaments, and at some point the motivation returns.

“Once you get out on the court, I think you should be able to compete, even if you are not 100 percent. But if you don’t feel like playing, you better take a vacation.”

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