Former world No, 18 Benoit Paire insisted he was back after claiming a big win at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday. Paire, now ranked at No. 50 in the world, stunned world No. 10 Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-5 in the Cincinnati second round.
Earlier this year, Paire went on a seven-match losing streak. During his seven-match losing streak, Paire looked absolutely disinterested on the court and he publicly spoke against bubbles and playing behind the closed doors.
"I heard a lot that I was no longer a tennis player:' 'Paire this, Paire that.' 'Now that tennis is back to normal (less bubbles), I managed to beat a top 10," Paire told L'Equipe, as revealed on We Love Tennis France.
Paire came up big against Shapovalov
Shapovalov led 3-2 after the opening five games of the match but Paire then earned back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and take the opener. After dropping four consecutive games and losing the first set, Shapovalov bounced back as he broke Paire in the opening game of the second set.
Shapovalov missed out on three break points in the fifth game but served out for the set in the 10th game. Paire was twice down by a break in the third set but both times he managed to recover. Paire then saved two break points in the 11th game, before breaking Shapovalov in the following game to seal the win.
It was a huge win for Paire as it will provide him lots of confidence going forward. “I’m super excited, the momentum is great from Wimbledon and I just feel like the past couple of months my game level has improved a couple more steps up,” Shapovalov said over a week ago.
“I just feel like a confident player right now, I feel like I’m able to compete with anyone. I feel like I’m becoming a really big threat. Those are definitely super positive things for me."