Monday, July 15, 2013

Welcome to Benoit Paire's World, Where Beauty and Disaster are Never Far Apart

(July 15, 2013)--Benoit Paire is as talented as they come, and he proves that on a daily, if intermittent, basis. But this short video clip, garnered from the highlight package of the Frenchman's quarterfinal loss to Victor Hanescu at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart (he's 0-4 vs. Hanescu), shows the extreme volatility of Paire in all its blazing glory. From the absolutely ethereal backhand flick (so sublime!) to the smashing of the ball into the stands (always welcome, in my book), to the I-don't-give-a-crap-anymore double fault (where I draw the line), it's all there.

Paire, clearly, is a real talent and a real headcase all wrapped into a nicely trimmed, bearded form. It may be just a matter of time before he clears all that angst from his soul and makes a serious go of being a top ten player, or, it may be just the beginning of what will be a long, head-scratchy career replete with near misses, blown chances and heaping portions of existential self-sabotage.

Either way, stay tuned, it's destined to be a fun ride.

Paire is currently only three paces off his career-high ranking of 25, so he must be doing something very, very right. And, given all the things that he's obviously doing wrong, the 24-year-old Avignon, France native has nothing but upside, even at this lofty spot in the rankings.

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