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French tennis player Benoit Paire had a bizarre one-and-done experience at the U.S. Open, losing to Cameron Norrie in straight sets in the first round Tuesday.
On a hot day in New York, Paire lost 6-0, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0, losing the third set in just 20 minutes and reportedly rushing through the match and looking disinterested.
“Maybe the heat got to him,” Norrie said after the match.
“Obviously it was really hot, and maybe towards the end of that third set he was playing really quick and trying to make the points really short. And maybe the heat was getting to him.”
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Before the end of the third set, Paire was seen packing up his bags with Norrie up 5-0.
After the match, Paire was asked whether the U.S. Open was the last time tennis fans would see him at a Grand Slam event, with Paire admitting he would need to find motivation.
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“I was leading 5-3. I could have taken the second set. It would have done me good in the head, but my demons came back again — the double faults — and it starts all the time the same,” Paire told French magazine L’Equipe, according to Yahoo Sport Australia.
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“We’ll see what happens. I’m not sure to continue the season, maybe stop there and see if I resume next year.
“Even at grand slams, I find it difficult to fight. I hope one day to find a motivation, something that will make me love tennis. Right now, I’m the happiest when I’m at home and the unhappiest when I’m in the tournament.”
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It’s not the first time that Paire has been accused of not putting forth his best effort. The Frenchman received a code violation at Wimbledon in 2021 for lack of effort.