French tennis star Benoit Paire has underlined that the ATP Cup is very important to him and he plans to give his absolute best at the tournament. Paire, ranked at No. 28 in the world, represented France at the inaugural ATP last year.
Unfortunately for Paire and France, they failed to make it past the group stage and make a deep run at the tournament. Paire, a former world No. 18, claims representing France at the ATP Cup means more to him than his individual result at the Australian Open.
The 31-year-old Frenchman has never made a deep run at Melbourne Park as only twice he reached the third round at the Australian Open. "The ATP Cup is important because it's the French team so I'm going to give the maximum.
But the Australian Open, whether I lose in the first round or whether I do quarterbacks, that won't change much. It's not my priority," Paire told L'Equipe.
Paire performed well at the ATP Cup last year
Paire played three tight matches at the ATP Cup last year and claimed two wins and one loss.
Paire beat Nicolas Jarry of Chile in his first match at the tournament, before he beat Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in his second match. In his final match, Paire lost to Kevin Anderson of South Africa. Paire fed from the crowd and from having his fellow compatriots cheering on for him from the sidelines.
"Look at our results, to Gael and to me last year: when the circuit resumed after confinement, I won a match, him zero. It's impossible for us to play without an audience, without an atmosphere. We like playing in front of people, with the pressure.
We miss it," Paire said. It remains to be seen how well will Paire perform at the ATP Cup this year and how far will France make at the tournament this week.