French tennis star Benoit Paire has decided not to continue his clay season as he is set to focus on the upcoming grass season after withdrawing from next week's Lyon Challenger. Paire, 30, was expected to make his main draw debut and highlight this year's player field of the Lyon Challenger, which is set for its fourth edition.
After several good results this year, the Frenchman would have been a top favorite to win the Lyon Challenger title in his debut at the tournament. Paire started his clay season with a runner-up finish at the Marbella Challenger before he won it all at the ATP 250 events in Marrakech and Lyon.
Paire, ranked at No. 38 in the world, certainly would have been extremely motivated to also win the Challenger event staged in Lyon after winning the ATP event that the city of Lyon hosted in May. Paire last played at the French Open -- where his campaign ended on a disappointing way despite the fact that he made the round-of-16 at the tournament for the first time in his career -- as the Frenchman failed to capitalize on a double-break fifth-set lead against Kei Nishikori. Paire is expected to open his 2019 grass campaign at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, which starts on June 17.