Punekars came to the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in large numbers on 1st January, 2018 to witness their hometown boy, Arjun Kadhe, who paired up with France’s Benoit Paire in the Doubles Main Draw. Although the Indo-French pair lost the match to the second seeds, Matwe Middelkoop and Robin Haase, Benoit Paire attracted a lot of eyeballs with his impressive playing style and swagger.
Born on the 8th of May, 1989 in Avignon (France), Paire fell in love with the sport of Tennis and started practicing the game. As he was growing up, he played many Futures and Challenger tournaments before making it to his first Grand Slam in 2008 as a Wildcard entrant. Although he lost in the first round, a promising tennis career had begun for him. His performances went on improving in 2010 and he made appearances in the US Open(2R), French Open(1R) and Wimbledon (Qualifiers).
The Frenchman took giant strides from 2011 onwards, as he broke into the top 100 ATP rankings for the first time in his career. His rankings kept on improving in the coming years, with the Frenchman competing in various tournaments worldwide. 2014 was a hard year for Paire as he missed every tournament between February and March due to a serious knee injury. While he was trying his level best to compete months later, the injury resurfaced several times to hinder his performances.
Paire did not lose hope and worked hard on his game and fitness despite many issues. The road to recovery wasn’t easy but he stayed focused and came back with a bang. He won ATP’s ‘Comeback Player of the Year’ award when he jumped 99 spots and rose to his then career-high rank of 19. Benoit Paire has two career titles to his name (one each in singles and doubles) so far. He is the 2013 Doubles winner of Chennai Open (with Stan Wawrinka) and has won the Swedish Open (2015) as well.
Currently aged 28 and seeded fourth in the singles category of Tata Open Maharashtra, Benoit Paire would look to win his second Singles career title at the Tata Open Maharashtra. If his past performances are anything to go by, Paire’s clash with second seeded Kevin Anderson in the Semi Finals today would be nail-biting to say the least. We can’t wait to witness this epic clash, can you?
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Benoit Paire (4) vs Kevin Anderson (2)
Friday, 5th January 2018
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