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“I could not handle the period very well” – Paire recalls struggles during first season of UTS

Frenchman Benoit ‘The Rebel’ Paire recently looked back at his experience during the first season of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in 2020.

Paire was going through a difficult time in that season and said his mind wasn’t on the sport when he made his UTS debut while speaking in the “All on The Table” video. “I could not handle the period very well. That was my fault. I had disconnected from tennis. And I found it hard to be back at it. UTS was the same thing basically. It wasn’t where my mind was. Being back at tennis was not the vibe of the moment. I was more into having fun, partying. It was a tough time for me.”

Paire, who plays the Frankfurt leg of UTS later this month, said he was more interested in having fun at the time as he knew he did not stand much of a chance on the court. “I enjoyed UTS because I enjoyed the concept, the rules, the cards. But tennis-wise I was miles ahead. And physically, I had no chance to win a match. I felt I was a loser, out of form. I was into the fun of it. But when it came to competition, I did not have any chance. So I tried to have fun, I tried to enjoy UTS. I was out of form. And the next months were the same. No win on the Tour during almost two years.”

Now ranked No 125 in the world, Paire will join Casper “The Iceman” Ruud, Daniil “The Chessmaster” Medvedev, and “The Thunder” Jan-Lennard Struff in Group A in Frankfurt while Andrey ‘Rublo’ Rublev, Christopher “The Rocket” Eubanks, Gael “La Monf” Monfils and Diego “El Peque” Schwartzman will compete in Group B.

Players in this article

The Rebel

Benoit Paire