French world No.35 Benoit Paire will not be allowed to play in the Olympic Games this year following an investigation conducted by the French Tennis Federation (FFT).
The national body has deemed the former top 20 player ineligible for the Olympic qualification criteria following a series of incidents he has been involved in this season. A vocal critic of the Tour restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paire has described the situation as ‘sad, boring and ridiculous.’ Openly admitting that he wants to get outside of staying in a ‘Tour bubble’ as quickly as possible. At the Argentina Open he was accused of tanking during one of his matches which he also spat on the court following an argument over a line call.
The behaviour of the Frenchman has prompted concern from the FFT who looked into the case. Paire has since written a letter to his national federation apologising for the incidents however he continues to be caught up in controversy. At last week’s Monte Carlo Masters he said he didn’t care about losing to Jordan Thompson in the first round and described playing without fans watching like a ‘cemetery.’
“Honestly I don’t give a sh*t about this match,” he told reporters.
“Playing in a cemetery like this, it’s just not possible anymore. All the players think it. I am perhaps the only one to say it.
“Tennis is no longer bringing me anything good. I’ve got no more spark.”
It was the Monte Carlo incident which proved to be the last straw and triggered action from the Federation with the proposal being backed by Nicolas Escudé and Davis Cup captain Sébastien Grosjean. In a statement the FFT confirmed their decision was prompted by Paire’s ‘inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and repetitive behaviours.’
“In terms of responsibility, for our sport and for France, on the proposal of the DTN (Direction Technique Nationale) and in consultation with Sébastien Grosjean, the Comex has decided to exclude Benoît Paire from the future list of players who will represent the FFT and France this summer in Tokyo,” FFT President Gilles Moretton said in a statement.
“His behaviour deeply moved since the beginning of the year seriously undermines the values of sport, like tennis and are totally incompatible with the Olympic spirit. I repeat, it is the duty of each player and of each high-level player must respect the values of our sport and it is up to them to be exemplary on and off the court, in particular vis-à-vis the young people of our country.”
Officials confirmed that they will provide support to Paire if he would like to receive any. Although they didn’t elaborate on what that could entail.
Paire played in the 2016 Olympics where he lost in the second round to Fabio Fognini. Although he was later issued with a provisional suspension for ‘damaging’ the image of the FFT after being booted off the French team for “flouting the rules.”
The 31-year-old is France’s fourth highest ranked player on the ATP Tour. Ahead of him is Adrian Mannarino (No.34), Ugo Humbert (No.31) and Gael Monfils (No.15).
Ash Barty Reveals ‘Excitement’ After Mixed Doubles Medal In Tokyo
Ash Barty has revealed her excitement after her and John Peers won Australia’s first Olympic tennis medal for 17 years.
Ash Barty revealed her excitement at winning Bronze in the mixed doubles in Tokyo with John Peers.
The world number one along with doubles specialist John Peers claimed Australia’s first tennis medal at the Olympics since 2004.
Despite benefiting from a bronze medal match withdrawal from Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic, that hasn’t taken away the happiness of claiming an Olympic medal.
Speaking to the Channel 7 programmes Sunrise Barty proudly spoke about the achievement, “It’s been an amazing week for both John and I,” Barty was quoted as saying by Tennis Australia.
“We’ve played some great tennis, probably the best we’ve ever played together. To walk away with a medal and contribute to the team total here in Australia has been incredible.
“Johnny and I, we put ourselves in a position all week to play good tennis and I feel like we really deserve this one. We were so close to being in that gold medal play-off and I think for both of us, it’s been awesome. We’ve played great. I felt like we really deserved this one for Australia.
“No, I think for us it’s excitement. I just hope as athletes, as a whole Australian team that’s here – all 480 odd of us – we can bring a smile to people’s faces at home when they’re sitting on the couch enjoying watching us trying (to) go out there and do Australia proud.”
As for John Peers it was an achievement of a lifetime, inspired by the traditional Olympic spirit, “Any chance you get to represent your country and to do it alongside Ash, to be able to say we’re the first mixed doubles medallists at an Olympics for Australia is something really special,” the 33 year-old commented.
“There was so much uncertainty leading into the Games and to be able to see the way the Australian team’s come together and sort of really bonded has really shown the Australian spirit, the way that all the athletes get behind each other.
“To be able to show the Olympics is going on in uncertain times is just something really special and unique and hopefully it can be the turning point for the world, and Australia, to come out the other side.”
Both will be hoping that this week will be the start of something special for Australian tennis as they will look to capitalise on this success in three years time in Paris.
Next for John Peers will be Washington next week where he and Filip Polasek are the top seeds.
While Ash Barty will be starting her preparations for the US Open in Cincinnati which starts on the 16th of August.
Czech Republican Trailblazers Inspire Krejcikova and Siniakova To Olympic Gold In Tokyo
Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova reflect on Czech Republic’s Olympic past after Olympic gold.
Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova admit that former Czech Republican trailblazers inspired them to win doubles gold in Tokyo.
The top seeds claimed gold with a 7-5 6-1 win over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic.
After edging a tight opening set, the Czech Republican duo eased to victory to claim gold in Tokyo.
It was a historic gold as the pair went one better than trailblazers Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova who won silver in Seoul 1988 and Atlanta 1992.
After the victory today Krejcikova paid tribute to those before them and said that they were inspired by those who came before them, “The motivation we got from the previous medallists is really big,” the Roland Garros champion told the ITF website.
“I think we got really inspired by them. I think we really need to thank them because without them we just wouldn’t have the motivation and the inspiration.
“It’s really big. We’re really happy and really grateful that we could be here. We did such a great job during these 10 days and we have this beautiful gold medal. It’s pretty much a dream come true.”
While Katerina Siniakova also outlined how special it is to win the gold medal as the top seeds remain the team to beat in the Women’s doubles game, “It’s really special this one,” Siniakova admitted.
“I really enjoyed my whole time here. It was really tough and I’m so glad we kept fighting and in the end we have this one, this gold medal. It’s really amazing. I feel so honoured I got to represent my country.”
The Czech Republican will be favourites to win their fourth grand slam at the US Open in late August.
As for Bencic and Golubic, it has been a successful tournament especially for Bencic who won Olympic gold yesterday.
After the match Bencic admitted it’s not just about Olympic medals and that its about the memories created, “It’s not just about the medals or the titles, it’s about the memories you create that will last forever,” Bencic claimed.
“To share this with Viki is unbelievable. The whole week I never felt like I was in a normal tournament or playing alone. She was alongside me the entire way. I always tell her we won this gold medal together as well.
“When we will be 80 years old and have a coffee, we will talk about these moments and I cannot wait for that.”
Alexander Zverev Ends Germany’s 33-year Wait For Olympic Singles Gold
The new champion reacts to his historic win in Tokyo.
Alexander Zverev produced a dominant performance against Karen Khachanov to clinch the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The world No.5 dropped just five games during his 6-3, 6-1, win over his Russian rival. Impressively Zverev won 84% of his first service points and hit 27 winners against 15 unforced errors in the 79-minute match. It is the third time the German has won a title this season after the Mexican Open and Madrid Masters.
“It’s incredible; this is the biggest tournament you can win in any sport doesn’t matter what anybody else says doesn’t matter what some of the tennis players say,” Tennis Now quoted Zverev as telling the Olympic Channel.
“I can’t believe it. I’m an Olympic gold medalist. This is not even something you can dream about. It’s like so far away. It’s the first time in my life I don’t know what to say in an interview—this is how much it means.”
Zverev’s milestone win came just 24 hours after he stunned world No.1 Novak Djokovic in three sets to end his bid for a Golden Slam in 2021. Earlier in the tournament, he also scored wins over Kei Nishikori, Jeremy Chardy, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Daniel Elahi Galán and Lu Yen-Hsun.
The 24-year-old has become the first player from his country to win a gold medal in singles since Steffi Graf did so back in 1988. The year tennis returned to the Olympic Games. Since then the only other German success in the Games occurred in the doubles with Boris Becker and Michael Stich claiming silver in 1992.
“Because this tournament is not about yourself; I didn’t walk on court for one second for me,” Zverev said. “I walked on court for everybody back at home, everybody here at the village, the whole country of Germany. I never gave up and never lost the spirit.”
Meanwhile, Khachanov can take comfort in being the first Russian man to win a singles medal at the games since Yevgeny Kafelnikov won the title back in 2000. Tokyo was also the first time he has reached a singles final of any sort since winning the 2018 Paris Masters.
“You can analyse as much as you want, but we played an outstanding match from my point of view,” Khachanov told the Olympic News Service. “That’s how I felt, I tried to do basically the same things, had the same game plan. But, you know, he was just better, really. All credit to him.”
On Saturday Pablo Carreno Busta claimed the bronze medal after beating Djokovic in three sets.
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