However, he was coming out of a very encouraging summer, with in particular a good week at the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati (quarter-final), but Benoît Paire fell back into his pitfalls this Monday in New York, beaten in the first round of the US Open by Serbian Dusan Lajovic (6-3, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4).
Faced with the 40th in the world, a solid player but more at ease on clay than on hard, the French lacked precision (44 unforced errors), precision in the service (only 50% of first balls, 15 aces but 14 double faults ) and, above all, calm.
“He speaks during the point, you have to stop the match!” He can say whatever he wants and it’s okay, shall we play? Can anyone speak during the point? Can I tell my dad to talk during the point? “
His many moods earned him several warnings, up to the penalty point at the end of the second set, while Lajovic was used to lead two sets to zero. Embarrassed by a noise coming from the stands, Paire got annoyed with the referee before hitting his opponent’s parasol with his racket. “He speaks during the point, you have to stop the match!” He can say whatever he wants and it’s okay, shall we play? Can anyone speak during the point? Can I tell my dad to talk during the point? », Launched the French official before insulting the spectator who had disturbed him.
This blow of anger at least had the merit of putting the 49th in the world back in the meeting. His first balls finally passed (71% against 40% on the two previous sets), his sequences at the net were sharper and it is logically that he won the third round. Opposite, Lajovic seemed touched by the heat and humidity, on the verge of cramps. Yet it was the Serbian who, after six chances saved by Pair, managed the decisive break, at 4-3, before concluding a few minutes later on his third match point.