Benoit Paire: My tennis and joy for the game have returned

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Benoit Paire: My tennis and joy for the game have returned

French tennis star Benoit Paire is once again happy and he has rediscovered his joy for the game. Earlier this season, Paire went on a seven-match losing streak and he looked extremely disinterested on the court during his rough streak.

Paire wasn't a fan of playing behind the closed doors or staying in bubbles. Paire, a former world No. 18, is enjoying a notable campaign at the Cincinnati Masters this week. On Thursday, Paire surprised recent Atlanta champion John Isner 7-6 (1) 6-7 (2) 6-1.

"I'm enjoying so much playing in front of people again, being able to go out in streets, go to fast-food and get back to a life I love. That's why results are back. I'm happy to have my tennis back and my joy of being on a court," Paire told L'Equipe, as revealed on We Are Tennis.

Paire collects a few notable wins

A round earlier, Paire sent world No. 10 Denis Shapovalov packing out of the Cincinnati Masters. After the Shapovalov win, Paire had a message for his doubters and critics. "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 said. Paire backed up his Shapovalov win in his following match as he surprised the big-serving American Isner. Paire blew an early first break and the opener eventually went into a tie-break.

In the tie-break, Isner won the opening point but Paire won the following seven points to win the opener in style. Paire had a chance to wrap things up in straight sets but Isner saved a match point on his serve in the 10th game.

As no breaks were seen in the second set -- the set went into a tie-break -- in which both players were tied at 2-2 before Isner won five consecutive points to force a decider. After winning the second set, Isner's game fell apart as Paire earned three breaks in the third set to book a three-set win.