Benoit Paire, who showed hopes of getting back on track in front of fans in Madrid, continues to stoop lower as he was embroiled in another ugly controversy at the Italian Open.
The French maverick was utterly disrespectful of the chair umpire Carlos Bernandes during his 4-6, 3-6 defeat to Italy’s Stefano Travaglia in the opening round in Rome on Monday.
Unhappy with a line call, the 31-year-old got his mobile phone and clicked the picture of a ball mark.
JEAN PAUL LOTH c’est la personne âgée?
— paire benoit (@benoitpaire) May 10, 2021
Serving at 15-15, two-all in the second set, Paire was upset as his first serve was deemed a fault. He had Bernandes step down to check the ball mark.
“I checked 45 marks already in this set,” the miffed umpire told Paire after confirming the ball was out.
The Frenchman wasn’t convinced and asked for a Hawk-eye review. The technology also supported the umpire’s decision.
The Frenchman went on to serve three successive double faults and handed the break on the platter.
After the game, Paire got his mobile phone and took a picture of the ball mark. “If I have to, I’ll pay the fine,” a visibly frustrated Paire was heard saying.
Bernandes gave him a code violation for the act.
Paire has gone down a slippery slope ever since tennis resumed in August 2020. He has mainly blamed his outbursts on bubble life and playing in front of empty stands.
The 31-year-old admitted that he was only interested in collecting pay cheques as the prize money has been slashed significantly during the pandemic and trying to win a title is not worth the effort. Of the 14 matches he has played so far in 2021, he has won only two.
Due to his attitude, the French Tennis Federation has barred him from competing at the Olympics.
On Monday, former French Davis Cup captain Jean-Paul Loth slammed Paire for the incident with Bernandes.
“He’s not a professional player, he’s a mountebank (charlatan),” Loth commented on TV. To which Paire replied on Twitter, ‘Jean Paul Loth, is it the old person?’