Benoit Paire escapes Wimbledon fine after being heckled lack of effort

Benoit Paire has escaped being fined by the Grand Slams after he was heckled by fans and handed a code violation a lack of effort at Wimbledon.

Paire failed to win a single game in the third set of his straight sets defeat to Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday and was slapped with a code violation by chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani.

The Frenchman, who has won two of his 19 matches this season, felt the wrath of the Court 2 crowd, with one particularly cheesed off fan shouting ‘you’re wasting everybody’s time’.

The Grand Slam rulebook states: ‘A player shall use his best efforts to win a match when competing in a Grand Slam Tournament. Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to $20,000 (£14,400) for each violation.’

Paire, who fleetingly attempted to argue he was injured on court, defended his behaviour in his post-match press conference.

Asked if he agreed with the code violation, Paire bluntly replied: ‘No, I disagree.

‘I missed two returns into the net, like I did in the first two sets and because it’s 5-0 for him and he didn’t make any mistakes and I missed two, it’s a warning, I think 5-0 30-0 in the third set is not a good time to put a warning for this.

‘I think I tried my best in the beginning of the match. Mentally it is not easy for me since we start again. I said to the press every time with the bubble it is not for me.

‘I try my best when I am in the bubble, but for me playing tennis like this is impossible. So I try my best. It’s still the same, it’s the bubble here. For me, mentally, It is tough for me.

Grand Slam rulebook entry on lack of effort

A player shall use his best efforts to win a match when competing in a Grand Slam Tournament. Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to $20,000 for each violation. For purposes of this Rule, the Referee and/or the Chair Umpire shall have the authority to penalise a player in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule. In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a tournament, or are singularly egregious, a single violation of this Section shall also constitute the Major Offence of “Aggravated Behaviour” and shall be subject to the additional penalties hereinafter set forth.

‘I pull out last week from Eastbourne because mentally I was not good enough. This week I tried my best and when you try your best you will take a warning because you do not do your best effort. I disagree.’

Asked what he thought about the fan who clearly disagreed with his assessment that he was giving his all, Paire sharply responded: ‘I do not care about the people. I play for me and that is it. I do not play for people.

‘I don’t like when it is bubble. I’m not entirely focused on my game. I just try to stay in my room, do my Covid test. I disagree with everything.

‘I like the tournament. When I started on the tour I said I don’t like the tournament but I really like it now. This thing I don’t like is how they treat us, like stay in bubble and everybody is out in the city. I don’t understand.’

This is far from the first controversial incident involving the world No. 46 from France this year.

He branded the Australian Open as ‘sh*t’, courted controversy for spitting on court and was banned from the French Olympic team due to ‘deeply inappropriate behaviour’.

While Paire escaped a fine, others have not been so lucky.

Wimbledon main draw fines 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas (coaching): $3,000 (£2,100)
Correntin Moutet (unsportsmanlike conduct): $2,500 (£1,800)
Radu Albot (racquet abuse): $2,500 (£1,800)
James Duckworth (racquet abuse): $2,500 (£1,800)
Nick Kyrgios (audible obscenity): $2,500 (£1,800)
Dan Evans (audible obscenity): $3,000 (£2,100)
Nick Kyrgios (audible obscenity): $3,000 (£2,100)
Kristina Mladenovic (unsportsmanlike conduct): $7,500 (£5,400)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (unsportsmanlike conduct): $3,000 (£2,100)

In the men’s draw, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost in the first round was fined $3,000 (£2,100) for coaching. Correntin Moutet received a $2,500 (£1,800) fine for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Radu Albot and James Duckworth have both been fined $2,500 (£1,800) for racquet abuse. Nick Kyrgios picked up two separate fines for audible obscenity to the tune of $5,500 in total, while Dan Evans received a $3,000 (£2,100) fine for the same offence.

There have also been two fines in the women’s game for Anastasia Pavyluchenkova and Kristina Mladenovic. While Pavlyuchenkova was hit with a $3,000 (£2,100) charge, Mladenovic received the biggest single fine of the tournament: a whopping $7,500 (£5,400).

It’s understood Mladenovic’s fine was a result of an an off-court incident.

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