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Benoit Paire talks about his depression: “I realised I needed help”

He has been going through a difficult period for several months, and Benoit Paire has now confided in Brut about his current bad patch – as well as his desire to recover

Benoît Paire Benoît Paire at Wimbledon in 2002 (Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic)

For Benoit Paire and his fans, the start of the 2022 season has been a real struggle. He has only three victories, the last of which came in May on the clay court in Geneva, and 18 defeats. The Frenchman makes no secret of the fact that since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, which led to a stoppage on the ATP circuit and then to ‘bubbles’ restricting social mixing, he is no longer happy in his job.

Paire, who shown himself back to training at the Mouratoglou Academy this week, has lost his magic and seems to be bringing his pain on to court with him. He recently spoke of a “disgust for tennis” in a press conference after losing in the first round of Wimbledon, and went into more detail about his situation and his depression in an interview with the French online media Brut.

“My head, I don’t know when it will get better. It’s an injury that can be very long and I hope it will be as short as possible,” admitted Paire, still ranked 73rd in the world. “I realised that I needed help and that I needed to be better on the court. I’m seeing shrinks, a lot of people to try to understand what’s happening to me. On my own, I couldn’t cope. I see a hypnotist, a psychologist. I have a mental trainer to discuss a lot of things to try to correct this.”

Paire – “I don’t feel happy”

In this interview with Brut, Paire talked about his mental health problems and also how he feels on a tennis court. The Frenchman has a real block and has not yet found the solutions to rediscover the joy of holding a racquet, a situation that also affects his personal life.

“It’s difficult because I don’t necessarily feel happy in my life, because tennis is complicated. What I need to do is to find the right balance, to celebrate, but also to be serious and to prepare well for tournaments. That’s what I’m having a bit of trouble doing at the moment. That’s why I’m going to start from scratch. It’s been two days since I last drank alcohol (smile), I’m in the middle of a cure.

“I have a little bit of stress coming onto a court, when that’s what I enjoyed when I was good before. Even without practising a lot, I was able to come out with big matches because I liked that, the adrenaline,” Paire added. “I used to like the stressful moments and now it’s become more and more complicated. As soon as I’m stressed, I get anxious and panic.”

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