Benoît Paire (French pronunciation: [bənwa pɛʁ]; born 8 May 1989) is a French professional tennis player.
His best result in a Grand Slam came at the US Open in 2015, where he reached the fourth round. He has won one singles title, at the 2015 Swedish Open, and his career-high singles ranking is World No. 18, first achieved in January 2016.
In 2015, Paire was voted Comeback Player of the Year, rising from #126 to a career-high #19 after a knee injury had sidelined him for much of 2014.
2007–2010: Early career
In 2007, Paire played his tennis at Futures level, winning one event (the France F10). In 2008, Paire continued to play primarily on the Futures circuit, but made his first appearances in higher-tier tournaments, losing in the qualifying rounds at the Open 13 and the Open Sud de France, both part of the ATP 250 Series. Similarly, Benoit made it to the main draw for the first time at Challenger level at Alessandria. Paire played in his first Grand Slam tournament, at the French Open, receiving a wildcard in the qualifying draw, but lost in the first round. In 2009, Paire began playing more Challenger tournaments, but at Futures level won the Slovenia F3 and lost in three other finals in the space of three months. Again that year, he received a wild card into the French Open qualifying draw, this time making it into the final qualifying round, before losing to Fabio Fognini.
In 2010, Paire played most of his tennis at Challenger level, reaching his first Challenger final at Arad in July, where he lost to fellow country-man David Guez. Paire still played many Futures tournaments, making it to six finals (winning three). However, Benoit began making a lot of progress at ATP level, receiving a wildcard into the Open Sud de France before losing in the first round to John Isner and getting through qualifying in Valencia again before losing in the first round. Paire played his first ATP Masters event in Paris, losing in qualifying. For the first time Paire made it to the second round of a Grand Slam, coming through qualifying and beating Rainer Schüttler before losing to big-serving Feliciano López in five sets at the US Open. This success followed a first round defeat at Roland Garros for the second time in his career (again after coming through qualifying), as well as a first round loss in qualifying at Wimbledon.
2011 was Paire's most successful year to date, making more ATP main draw appearances than the rest of his career put together. It was a year in which he increased his ranking around sixty places and broke into the top 100 in the ATP Rankings for the first time in his career. Paire also appeared in the main draw in three of the four Grand Slams (and for the first time without needing to qualify), his best result at this level coming at the Australian Open, losing in the second round to former world no. 3 and 17th seed, Ivan Ljubičić. Paire played in five ATP 250 tournaments, making it to the second round in both Stuttgart and Metz, as well as coming through qualifying and making it into the second round in the two ATP 500 tournaments he played, Barcelona and Rotterdam, the latter in which he beat compatriot, top 20 player and former world no. 6 Gilles Simon in three sets. Paire again missed out on making his first appearance in a main draw at a Masters event, losing in qualifying in both Paris (for the second time in two years), as well as in Monte Carlo. At Challenger level, Paire made it to a couple more finals, the first at the Open Prévadiès Saint–Brieuc event in March, losing to fellow country-man Maxime Teixeira, before beating Teixera later in the year to win his first Challenger title at Ropharma Challenger Brașov. Paire followed this victory with another in Salzburg just a month later, defeating Grega Žemlja in three sets in the final.
Benoît kicked off his 2012 season at the Chennai Open, beating French Open quarter-finalist Fabio Fognini for the loss of just one game, before falling to Israeli Dudi Sela, despite leading by a set, in the second round. Continuing his preparation for the Australian Open, Paire played at the Heineken Open in Auckland, coming through qualifying before beating former world no. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero and 4th seed Juan Ignacio Chela to make it to his first ever quarter-final in an ATP event. Here he lost to eventual finalist Olivier Rochus in three sets. At the Australian Open, Paire drew top twenty-five player and former world no. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka in the first round, falling in straight sets. Benoît next played two back-to-back ATP 250 events at the Brasil Open (losing in the first round to David Nalbandian), and a week later the Buenos Aires where he was again beaten by Stanislas Wawrinka. Benoît played his third clay court tournament in a row at the Mexican Open (part of the ATP 500 Series), losing in the second round to clay court specialist Nicolás Almagro, despite taking the first set. Next, Benoît competed in back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 events Indian Wells & Miami. At Indian Wells, Paire lost is in the first round to VTR Open runner-up, Carlos Berlocq, this represented Benoît's first main draw participation at this level. Despite this, Paire had to qualify in Miami, and lost in the final round of qualifying to David Goffin. Following the North American swing, Paire returned to the clay in Casablanca, making his second quarter-final appearance of the season. Benoît resumed the clay court season in Barcelona, losing in the second round for the second year in a row. The week after Benoît made it to his first ATP final at the Serbian Open, part of the ATP 250 series. On his way to the final Paire knocked out the sixth seed, third seed and top seed (Pablo Andújar), before losing in the final to Andreas Seppi in straight sets. Benoît made his seventh clay-court appearance of the season in Nice as a wildcard, losing in the first round to compatriot Roger-Vasselin. At the French Open, Benoît reached the second round for the first time in his career, losing to eventual semi-finalist David Ferrer in straight sets. Paire didn't play a warm-up event at either Queens or Halle, yet reached the third round at Wimbledon, his best performance in a Grand Slam event, beating Matthew Ebden and twenty-second seed Alexandr Dolgopolov on the way. He lost to American qualifier Brian Baker in the third round. He followed up his impressive grass-court run at Wimbledon with a semi-finalist showing at s-Hertogenbosch, losing to eventual winner David Ferrer in three sets.
On 16 July 2012, Benoît defeated eighth-seeded Bernard Tomic in straight sets in the first round of the Swiss Open. He lost against Latvian, Ernests Gulbis, in the second round. Paire entered an ATP Tour event as the number one seed for the first time in his career at the Farmers Classic in July, but lost at the first hurdle to American Michael Russell.
Paire started his 2013 season in promising fashion, reaching the semi-finals in his first tournament of the year in Chennai before making his 2nd ATP World Tour final at Montpellier. Playing in front of his parents, he lost in straight sets to an in-form Richard Gasquet. "I really needed them to see how I have changed and I need to keep going. I feel I am on the right track if I stay calm and focused", he said. His performance in this tournament rose him to a career high (at the time) ranking of 38 in the world. After a first round exit at the Miami Masters event, Paire reached his second final of the season at the Le Gossier Challenger event in Guadeloupe. This time he prevailed after a tough 3-set battle with Sergiy Stakhovsky, claiming his third challenger level win and reaching a new career high ranking of 33 on 1 April 2013. At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Paire defeated World No. 7 Juan Martín del Potro 6–4, 7–6(7–3) to record his first win over a Top 10 player and reach the quarter-finals of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the first time. Paire went on to reach the semi-finals where he was beaten in two tight sets by Roger Federer. Paire then beat Milos Raonic of Canada to reach the semifinals of Stockholm.
Paire began his 2014 season in the Chennai Open, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Marcel Granollers in three sets. At the Australian Open, Paire battled past Nick Kyrgios from 2 sets down in the second round to beat the Australian teenager, however lost to Roberto Bautista-Agut in straight sets in the third round. He missed every tournament in February and March due to knee injury, including Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. He made his return during the clay court season, first playing at the Grand Prix Hassan II, making it to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Guillermo García-López. This was followed by an appearance in Monte-Carlo, losing his opening match to qualifier Albert Montañés, the same player he'd beaten in his opening match in Casablanca. A recurrence of his knee injury forced Paire to retire towards the end of his first match in Barcelona, and subsequently withdraw from the Portugal Open. He started the Madrid Masters against Andreas Seppi, however further recurrence of his knee injury forced him to retire after just two games. He withdrew from the Rome Masters in order to allow his knee to recover, however did start the French Open, ending a run of four consecutive defeats by beating Alejandro Falla in the first round before losing to Roberto Bautista Agut in his next match. Paire suffered three consecutive losses during the grass court season, at queen's Club, 's-Hertogenbosch and Wimbledon respectively, followed by a further first round loss in Stuttgart. In June 2014, after he lost in the first round at Wimbledon, he said that he was happy to lose because he "hates" the tournament. At the Rogers Cup, Paire had to make it through the qualifying draw due to his ranking having dropped to 98th in the world. He beat Falla in the first round before losing a tightly contested match against third seed Stan Wawrinka. He qualified for Cincinnati, however lost his first round match against wildcard Steve Johnson, resulting in Paire dropping out of the top 100 for the first time since April 2012. At the US Open, Paire made a promising start by beating 24th seed Julien Benneteau in five sets, 7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–4, 4–6, 6–4. However, he fell in the second round to Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta.
Paire (who was unseeded), won his first ATP World Tour singles title in July at the Swedish Open, defeating the top three seeds, including second-seeded Tommy Robredo in the final.
Paire defeated the 2014 US Open singles runner-up and 4th seed Kei Nishikori in the 1st round of the US Open, before going on to defeat Tommy Robredo in the 3rd round of the US Open to reach the 4th round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. He lost his 4th-round match to his compatriot, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in straight sets.
At the 2016 Australian Open, although he was seeded 17th, Paire lost in straight sets to American teen-aged wildcard Noah Rubin, ranked # 328 in the world.
On 19 July, Richard Gasquet withdrew from the 2016 Olympics tennis tournament because of his back injury. Gasquet would be replaced by Paire in the men's singles draw. On Aug 9, Paire, seeded no.16, lost in the second round to Fabio Fognini, despite holding two match points. Moments after being knocked out of the Olympic tournament, the French Tennis Federation booted Paire out of his country's Olympic Games squad and ordered him to leave the athletes' village for "flouting the rules" and "poor behaviour".
ATP career finals
Singles: 4 (1 title, 3 runners-up)
|Runner-up||1.||6 May 2012||Serbia Open, Belgrade, Serbia||Clay||Andreas Seppi||3–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||2.||10 February 2013||Open Sud de France, Montpellier, France||Hard (i)||Richard Gasquet||2–6, 3–6|
|Winner||1.||26 July 2015||Swedish Open, Båstad, Sweden||Clay||Tommy Robredo||7–6(9–7), 6–3|
|Runner-up||3.||11 October 2015||Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo, Japan||Hard||Stanislas Wawrinka||2–6, 4–6|
Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)
|Winner||1.||6 January 2013||Chennai Open, Chennai, India||Hard||Stanislas Wawrinka|| Andre Begemann |
|Runner-up||1.||10 January 2016||Chennai Open, Chennai, India||Hard||Austin Krajicek|| Olivier Marach |
Challenger career finals
Singles: 9 (5–4)
|Runner-up||1.||28 June 2010||Arad, Romania||Clay||David Guez||3–6, 6–1, 3–6|
|Runner-up||2.||16 August 2010||San Sebastian, Spain||Clay||Albert Ramos||4–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||3.||28 March 2011||St. Brieuc, France||Clay||Maxime Teixeira||3–6, 0–6|
|Winner||1.||5 September 2011||Brașov, Romania||Clay||Maxime Teixeira||6–4, 3–0 RET|
|Winner||2.||14 November 2011||Salzburg, Austria||Hard (i)||Grega Žemlja||6–7(6–8), 6–4, 6–4|
|Winner||3.||25 March 2013||Le Gosier, Guadeloupe||Hard (i)||Sergiy Stakhovsky||6–4, 5–7, 6–4|
|Winner||4.||15 February 2015||Bergamo, Italy||Hard (i)||Aleksandr Nedovyesov||6–3, 7–6(7–3)|
|Runner-up||4.||1 March 2015||Cherbourg, France||Hard (i)||Norbert Gombos||1–6, 6–7(4–7)|
|Winner||5.||8 March 2015||Quimper, France||Hard (i)||Grégoire Barrère||6–4, 3–6, 6–4|
Singles performance timeline
Updated as of 2016 US Open
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||2R||1R||1R||3R||Q1||1R||0 / 5||3–5|
|French Open||Q1||Q3||1R||1R||2R||3R||2R||3R||2R||0 / 7||7–7|
|Wimbledon||A||A||Q1||1R||3R||3R||1R||2R||2R||0 / 6||6–6|
|US Open||A||A||2R||Q1||2R||1R||2R||4R||2R||0 / 6||7–6|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–0||1–2||1–3||4–4||4–4||4–4||6–3||3–4||0 / 24||23–24|
|ATP Masters Series|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||A||A||A||1R||3R||A||A||2R||0 / 3||2–3|
|Miami Masters||A||A||A||A||Q2||1R||A||Q2||3R||0 / 2||1–2|
|Monte Carlo Masters||A||A||A||Q1||A||2R||1R||2R||3R||0 / 4||4–4|
|Madrid Masters||A||A||A||A||A||2R||1R||A||1R||0 / 3||1–3|
|Rome Masters||A||A||A||A||A||SF||A||Q2||2R||0 / 2||5–2|
|Canada Masters||A||A||A||A||A||3R||2R||A||1R||0 / 3||3–3|
|Cincinnati Masters||A||A||A||A||A||1R||1R||2R||1R||0 / 4||1–4|
|Shanghai Masters||NMS||A||A||A||2R||2R||A||A||2R||0 / 3||3–3|
|Paris Masters||A||A||Q1||Q2||2R||1R||A||2R||1R||0 / 4||2–4|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||2–3||11–9||1–4||3–3||5–9||0 / 28||22–28|
|Year End Ranking||629||331||152||95||47||26||120||19||47|
Doubles performance timeline
Current as far as 2015 Wimbledon Championships.
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||A||QF||1R||A||0 / 2||3–2|
|French Open||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 7||0–7|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||1R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 4||0–4|
|US Open||A||A||A||2R||A||A||0 / 1||1–1|
|Win–Loss||0–1||0–1||0–1||1–3||3–3||0–3||0–2||0 / 14||4–14|
Wins over top 10 players
|1.||Juan Martin del Potro||7||Italian Open, Rome, Italy||Clay||3R||6–4, 7–6(7–3)|
|2.||Stanislas Wawrinka||10||Canadian Open, Montreal, Canada||Hard||2R||6–2, 7–6(7–2)|
|3.||Kei Nishikori||4||US Open, New York, United States||Hard||1R||6–4, 3–6, 4–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–4|
|4.||Kei Nishikori||6||Japan Open, Tokyo, Japan||Hard||SF||1–6, 6–4, 6–2|
|5.||Stanislas Wawrinka||4||Marseille, France||Hard (i)||QF||6–4, 1–6, 7–5|