The French Tennis Federation has banned Benoit Paire from the Tokyo Olympics for conduct after he was penalised for spitting in Buenos Aires and launched a foul-mouthed rant in Monte Carlo.
The Frenchman has struggled to cope with the new realities of the tennis tour – the bubble life and the non-attendance of spectators. Starting with the ATP Cup, he has played nine tournaments so far but has registered only one win in singles.
“Frankly, I don’t give a f**k about this game. The circuit is rotten,” Paire had said after losing 4-6, 7-6, 6-7 to Jordan Thompson at the Monte Carlo Masters.
“Tennis doesn’t make me happy anymore. To be here is an absolute sadness because it’s usually the best tournament in the world. Win or lose in such conditions, I don’t care. I no longer have the spark.”
In Barcelona, the 31-year-old was beaten by Federico Gaio 5-7, 3-6. He still fought against his demons and spat on the ground with rage following a disagreement with the referee, before withdrawing from the Estoril tournament.
On Friday, an FFT statement announced that Paire will not be considered for selection to Tokyo due to his “repeated deeply ill-judged behavior.”
The decision to exclude France’s “enfant terrible” was proposed by the federation’s new technical director Nicolas Escude along with French Davis Cup captain Sebastien Grosjean.
The FFT said Paire had apologised for his behaviour in Argentina but his comments in Monte Carlo meant they would not take him to Tokyo. Paire was previously sent home from the 2016 Olympics in Rio for poor behaviour and breaching team rules.
“It is the duty of each player and each high-level player to respect the values of our sport,” FFT president Gilles Moretton said.
Paire, currently at No 35, is the fourth highest ranked player from France and was in line for making the Tokyo Games.