Dubai: The French Tennis Federation on Friday barred outspoken world No. 35 Benoit Paire from the Tokyo Olympics.
Paire will not be considered for selection to Tokyo due to his “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 Escude in tandem with French Davis Cup captain Sebastien Grosjean.
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It follows Paire’s behaviour 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 $9 million 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.