French player Benoit Paire believes the mood for political correctness has brought a level of hypocrisy in tennis, with players not openly saying what they truly think.
“There’s a lot of hypocrisy in this sport,” the 31-year-old wrote in a recent column for Racquet magazine.
“Take post-match interviews. The players hold back and don’t say what they’re thinking,” he writes.
“If you thought your opponent was lousy, why not say so? Even if you’re going to get nailed for it… It’s not a lack of respect, it’s an observation on that particular day. It doesn’t mean we think the player is always terrible. Maybe next week the very same player will beat you.”
Paire, who finished the year ranked 24 in the world, is one of the more colourful characters in the sport. He’s talented and explosive. And not surprisingly, he supports those of his ilk.
“In my opinion, that’s why guys like Nick Kyrgios and Fabio Fognini are doing a lot of good for tennis. I like their insanity,” Paire adds.
“Kyrgios, when he played Antoine Hoang in the second round of the US Open in 2019, it was on a show court and it was full. We criticize his attitude and say that he insults everyone, he has no drive and that he doesn’t want to play, but at the end of the day everyone will watch him.
“Folks know that something is going to happen. His matches are always a show.”
Paire was part of France’s Davis Cup-winning 2017 team and peaked at a career high of 18. But the Frenchman had a difficult 2020, testing positive for Coronavirus right before the US Open. He also came under fire for playing a tournament in Hamburg, Germany despite having tested positive the second time for the novel virus.