‘Nobody forces you to play,’ says Dominic Thiem when asked about Benoit Paire’s conduct
He has been very open the struggles of life on the ATP Tour during the Covid-19 era, but Dominic Thiem says he can’t condone Benoit Paire’s behaviour in recent months.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on all walks of life and many tennis players have revealed in recent months that the health and safety restrictions that have been imposed are starting to take its toll.
Thiem himself took some time out after the Dubai Tennis Championships in March as he struggled mentally and physically, admitting that the bubble life has become too much.
In an interview with El Pais, he said: “It is not easy, of course. It is difficult for everyone, because we are used to playing with stands full of fans, to travel freely from one city to another without difficulties.
“Now we play in empty stadiums, and every trip is complicated, and besides, life in the bubble is not fun at all.
“I understand that there are many players who find it difficult, but I also think that this will not last forever, that at some point things will return to normal.”
Paire, though, has been the most vocal as he feels the circuit has become “rotten” adding that “tennis is not my priority” and “getting out of the bubble is the only goal I have at every tournament”.
The Frenchman has also been involved in several altercations with officials and has lost 10 out of 11 matches this year.
Asked if he understand Paire’s behaviour in recent months, Thiem replied: “No, I don’t understand. If you don’t want to play, you stay at home. If you are not motivated, nobody forces you to play.
“I think what I did is better: I took some time out, cancelled my participation in three or four tournaments, and at some point the motivation returns.
“Once you get out on the track, I think you should be able to compete, even if you are not 100 percent. But if you don’t feel like playing, you better take a vacation.”
WTA rules against stripping UK grass court events of points
WTA rules against stripping UK grass court events of points, yet to make call on Wimbledon.
Iga Swiatek to kick off her grass season at Berlin Open
Iga Swiatek to start her grass court swing in the same country as her clay swing.
Carlos Alcaraz and Andy Murray confirmed for Queen’s as Scot also signs up for Surbiton event
Big names, including Carlos Alcaraz, Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini, set for Queen’s Club.
Novak Djokovic ‘has a feeling of revenge within him’ ahead of Roland Garros, says Mats Wilander
Mats Wilander backing Novak Djokovic to win back-to-back French Open titles.
Simona Halep feeling refreshed as she reveals Patrick Mouratoglou ‘helped me to find my love for tennis again’
Simona Halep thriving under Patrick Mouratoglou.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova out of French Open and will skip rest of 2022 season due to injury
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova set for lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Rafael Nadal the favourite to win French Open, but Patrick McEnroe is ‘leaning towards’ Novak Djokovic
Patrick McEnroe has his say on the battle for the French Open title.
Emma Raducanu joined by Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko at Birmingham event
Quality field set for Rothesay Classic Birmingham.
Daniil Medvedev ‘should be ready for Roland Garros’ as he gives his verdict after Geneva Open defeat
Some positives and some negatives for Daniil Medvedev.