Darren Cahill: Benoit Paire is a joy to watch on clay


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Darren Cahill: Benoit Paire is a joy to watch on clay

Tennis coach Darren Cahill enjoys watching world No. 38 Benoit Paire on a clay surface as you never know what to expect from the flamboyant Frenchman. Paire, 30, reached the round-of-16 stage at the French Open for the first time in his career before he fell just short of making his first-ever Grand Slam quarter-final.

The Frenchman blew a great chance to beat seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori as the Japanese twice recovered from a break down in the fifth set to win the match 6-2 6-7 (8) 6-2 6-7 (8) 7-5. 2014 US Open runner-up Nishikori led two sets to one before the match was suspended on Sunday night due to darkness.

When the match continued on Monday afternoon, Paire saved two match points in the fourth set to force a decider before he blew a great chance to set up a quarter-final clash against record 11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.

“I know there are better movers in the game but watching Benoit Paire slide around a clay-court, collar up, slinging that forehand and beard like Ned Kelly is a joy to watch. Plus you never know what you're going to get.

Brilliance and disaster joined at the hip,” Cahill tweeted during the match. However, it was still a great clay-court campaign for Paire, who won it all in Marrakech and Lyon.