Benoit Paire continued his controversial season at Wimbledon with accusations of deliberate tanking in his first round match against Diego Schwartzman.
Paire has played 15 tournaments this year but has won only two matches. Earlier this year, after getting defeated in the first round at Acapulco, he shocked the tennis world by saying it was better to lose in the first round as he can make easy money.
“I come (to tournaments), I make some money, then I go to the next tournament: I do my job,” he said.
“If you win an ATP 250, you only get $30,000. I took a check of $10,000 each time by directly losing [in the first round.] Why tear yourself away like a crazy person to earn just a little more?” said Paire.
In his first round Wimbledon match against Schwartzman, the Frenchman was given a code violation in the third set for lack of effort by umpire Mohamad Lahyani who told him “You have to show more respect for the game and do the best you can.”
He went on to lose 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in a quick 95 minute match and during the brief 19-minute third set in which Paire appeared to deliberately miss points, a member of the audience shouted: “You’re wasting everybody’s time’.
After the match, Paire was unapologetic for his behaviour and said he was struggling to play tennis while in a coronavirus bubble environment.
“I do not care about the people. I play for me and that is it. I think it is a bit ridiculous. I find it difficult to accept this decision,” the 32-year-old said in a post-match interview.
“I try my best when I am in the bubble, but for me playing tennis like this is impossible. So I try my best. It is tough for me.”
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