Tennis

France bars tennis bad boy Benoît Paire from Tokyo Olympics

Benoit Paire leaves the court at the ATP tournament in Hamburg after retiring during first-round match against Casper Ruud of Norway (File photo/September 2020)
Benoit Paire leaves the court at the ATP tournament in Hamburg after retiring during first-round match against Casper Ruud of Norway (File photo/September 2020) © dpa/AFP

The French Tennis Federation has excluded world number 35 Benoît Paire from the Tokyo Olympics after another episode of "ill-judged behaviour". 

Advertising

Paire will not be considered for selection to Tokyo due to "repeated deeply ill-judged behaviour", a statement from the FFT announced.

The decision to exclude France's "enfant terrible" was proposed by the federation's new technical director Nicolas Escudé in tandem with French Davis Cup captain Sébastien Grosjean.

It follows Paire's poor conduct at recent events in Buenos Aires when he was penalised for spitting, and in Monte Carlo.

At the Masters tournament in Monaco Paire lost in the first round and then launched a foul-mouthed rant at the current state of a sport which has brought him 7.45 million euros in prize money.

"Tennis doesn't make me happy anymore. To be here is an absolute sadness because it's usually the best tournament in the world," he said, referring to the lack of spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paire has waged a running battle of wits with tennis this year, becoming increasingly enraged with bio-bubbles and sterile playing conditions, a consequence of tournaments taking place without fans.

"I don't give a damn, fight or not fight. They say it's Monte Carlo, but we are playing in a sad atmosphere. That's how it is, the circuit has become rotten," the 31-year-old said.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning