Benoit Paire arrived in Brazil this week, having been granted a wild card entry. It was clear that with little practice. that he would not get far as the top seed. Paire had played in the Marseille semifinals just a couple of days prior to the start of the tournament in Sao Paulo.
It also didn't help that this year's Brasil Open had been moved outdoors. The tournament had held indoors on clay from 2012 to 2015 and the Frenchman was under the impression that we would be playing indoors again this past week.
Sao Paulo Result
Having made the long trip from Marseille to Brazil, Paire had only a few days to practice in between frequent rain delays. That didn't seem to work, as he crashed out in his opening match to Dusan Lajovic 6-0, 4-6 6-3. The Frenchman faced 18 break points during the match, dropping serve five times.
During an interview following his loss, Paire revealed that he thought the tournament was indoors like last year, "Honestly, I didn't know the tournament was outdoor this year. When I saw the first match on the TV, I was surprised it was not indoor like it was last year. I've asked for a wild card here because I was scared of losing early in Marseille like in the previous 3 tournaments, so it could have been too long to stay 3 weeks without playing matches before heading to Indian Wells. I thought this was a good chance for me to win the tournament, but obviously under different conditions".
Surface Transition Proves Too Tough
He then explained how difficult it was for him to adapt to the conditions, "I lost in Marseille on Saturday, arrived here on Monday and would have four days to train, but I could not because I was a little sick. Yesterday I could not train because of the rain. I'm sad because it was an important moment that upset my plans.".
Paire did give credit to his Serbian opponent, saying Lajovic played well and put him under pressure on serve. Paire is scheduled to play next at Indian Wells.