Statements from French tennis pros Benoit Paire („I lost in the first round, that’s better. I can get out of the bubble quickly and enjoy a few days off before Miami.“) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga („We can’t go to restaurants to relax. We’re not motivated, it’s not fun.“) paint a staggering and unacceptable picture of tennis pros‘ attitudes toward their sport.
It should give the ATP Tour a lot to think about that privileged athletes shamelessly utter such phrases. The bubble in which the athletes have been moving during lockdown also seems to have an effect on the brain power of the professionals above all. No more getting good money after every tournament for some tennis. No more spectators whose crazy adoration made the narcissist in themselves even bigger. The dolce vita around the tennis court was passé, and already the pros lost interest in their sport. The bank accounts are bulging, so why go through the agony anymore when the money can’t be thrown out the window anyway.
For players like Paire and Tsonga, there seems to be no more understanding of their role model function to fans.
The frightening thing is how shamelessly they scatter inflammatory material around the world:
When asked at an ATP tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, what he enjoyed most here, Paire replied, „the women“ – of course, that could well be taken as a humorous response, but paying respect to organizers, helpers and people who make such tournaments possible would be more appropriate.
Sometimes you wish the ATP would crack down so that players like Benoit Paire would stop putting such nonsense into people’s heads.