Benoit Paire: Spitting incident results in Argentina Open loss for Frenchman

Benoit Paire
Benoit Paire missed out on the US Open in August after testing positive for coronavirus

Benoit Paire went out of the Argentina Open in bizarre fashion after being docked a point for spitting and then appearing to give up in his final service game.

Facing Argentine opponent Francisco Cerundolo, Paire was first given a warning and then penalised by umpire Nacho Forcadell.

The tournament supervisor was called in an attempt to calm the Frenchman down.

Paire, 31, then served two wild double faults to lose 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

The flashpoint in the second-round tie came when a serve from world number 137 Cerundolo, 22, was deemed an ace in the second set.

Paire argued with Forcadell, pointing to a mark in the clay where he thought the ball had landed.

He then spat on the mark, protested and swore before he was given a warning.

The Frenchman was then docked a point a couple of games later for spitting again.

At 5-1 down in the third and final set Paire, who is ranked 29th, appeared to give up in his final service game, making his last serve while a ballboy was still on court recovering his first service ball.

Soon after his match, Paire left a message on social media showing his career earnings of more than $8.5m (£6.1m) with the words: "In the end it's useful to be useless".

Cerundolo will face 35-year-old Spanish sixth seeded Pablo Andujar in the quarter-finals.

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