French tennis star Benoit Paire believes tennis would not be as popular a sport it is without the Big 3 – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But he knows he isn’t like them and if he ever won the French Open he’d end his season right there!
“I respect them a lot and I think what they do and how invested they are is amazing,” he told the Racquet Magazine in an interview.
“But damn, when I see Rafa win the French and two days later he’s training at Queen’s for the grass-court season… It’s a different world!
“If I won the French I don’t know if I’d go to Queen’s or even to Wimbledon. Actually, I think I’d end my season there! They are champions. Without them, tennis wouldn’t be where it is today.”
The Big 3 have won 57 Grand Slams between them and are considered three of the best times of all times. And even though Paire admires them, he isn’t envious of their success.
“I admire them (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic) enormously, but I will never be like them,” Paire said.
“That doesn’t stop me from considering myself a champion.
“I was 18th in the world, I’ve been in the top 100 for 10 years, and I have three ATP titles: that’s a perfectly good career. Besides, my ex would tell me often enough: ‘You’re a champion. You play in the biggest tournaments in the world, against the best players in the world.'”
The 31-year-old reached a career high of 18 in January and was ranked in the top-20 at the start of 2020. But Paire tested positive for Coronavirus just before the US Open and has been struggling to get back to his best, especially due to the absence of tennis crowds.
He is still ranked No 28 in the world and, when in the mood, is a delight to watch.