“The Rebel” Benoit Paire qualifies for semi-finals with win over “The Thunder” Jan-Lennard Struff
“The Rebel” Benoit Paire booked his spot in the semi-finals at UTS Frankfurt by Builder.AI.
The fourth time has proven to be the charm for “The Rebel” Benoit Paire at UTS Frankfurt by Builder.ai. Paire put forth a clutch performance against the “The Thunder” Jan-Lennard Struff, winning 16-13, 17-16, 16-14 in a hotly contested night match at the Süwag Energie Arena in Frankfurt.
Paire had never advanced past group play in his first three UTS appearances, and he was overcome by nerves in his first match of the day as he squandered four match points against “G-Unit” Grigor Dimitrov and lost in sudden death.
But the 34-year-old responded in his second match of the day against Struff, coming through three tight quarters to ensure his first trip to the last four.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” said Paire. “I hope you enjoyed the show. I am very happy because I reached the semi-final, but I am also very happy because I enjoyed it with everybody in the crowd.”
Either Dimitrov or “The Iceman” Casper Ruud will advance to the semi-finals along with Paire, depending on the result of their Saturday evening encounter.
Paire delivers in the clutch
Struff was already eliminated after losing the first quarter, but the German was eager to put his best foot forward on home soil, and pushed Paire to the brink in the second and third quarters.
He led 12-10 in quarter two, then had a quarter point at 16-15, but Paire won the next point at the buzzer, then converted quarter point to take a 2-0 lead.
“I had the chance before against “G-Unit”, and I didn’t make it — this time I said ‘Thank you chance, and let’s see what happens,'” Paire said. “Honestly, it worked, so I’m very proud.”
In the third quarter Paire broke open a 14-14 tie, taking the last three points to claim his sweep.
He lay on his back, celebrating his victory, as his post-match interview commenced. Never a dull moment with “The Rebel”…