'Confident' Benoit Paire aims Winston-Salem Open title



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'Confident' Benoit Paire aims Winston-Salem Open title

French tennis star Benoit Paire insisted it's never easy playing against former world No. 6 Gilles Simon. Paire, seeded at No. 12, had a first round bye at the Winston-Salem Open before handing a 6-3 6-3 loss to Simon in his opener at the tournament.

Paire, ranked at No. 49 in the world, made the Winston-Salem Open in 2019 before losing to Hubert Hurkacz. Paire said last week that his joy for tennis has returned and now he is hoping to win it all in Winston-Salem. ”It is not easy to play against Simon,” Paire said, per the ATP website.

“I am so happy to beat him today, I played a good match and built on the confidence of last week. I am really happy to be back. I reached the final in 2019, so I will try to do the same. The conditions are very tough, it is very humid.

I have been in America for one month though, so I am used to it”.

Paire routed Simon

Paire made a fast start to the match, having claimed early two breaks to open a 5-1 lead. However, Simon responded a bit as he broke back Paire in the seventh game and saved a set point in the eighth game to reduce the deficit to 5-3.

In the ninth game, Paire served out to love to clinch the opener. After winning the first set, Paire broke Simon twice in the second set to book a comfortable straight-set win. Elsewhere, Pablo Carreno Busta was also in action on Tuesday as he beat Sonwoo Kwon 6-3 3-6 6-4.

"It was a very close match, he played really well in the second and third sets," Carreno Busta said in his on-court interview. "It is really nice to be here again. I am happy as it is important for me to start my first match with a victory.

"I feel really comfortable here; it is a nice way to go to New York before the US Open. It is very important for me to play as many matches as possible."