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Paire spits on court, tanks and crashes out of Argentina Open



Published 05/03/2021 at 08:21 GMT

| Updated 05/03/2021 at 09:07 GMT

Frenchman Benoit Paire crashed out of the Argentina Open after tanking his final service game and being docked a point for spitting on the court in a 4-6 6-3 6-1 defeat to Francisco Cerundolo.

World number 29 Paire, seeded third in the tournament, lost his temper over a line call when 2-0 down in the second set after a Cerundolo serve down the middle was judged an ace.

The bearded 31-year-old argued heatedly with the chair umpire on court over a mark in the clay next to the line but failed to convince the official to overturn the call.

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Paire then spat on the mark and shouted obscenities, earning a warning for a first code of conduct violation.

Later in the set, he was docked a point for a second code of conduct violation after again spitting and arguing with the chair umpire.

Serving at 5-1 down in the third set, Paire made two seemingly deliberate wild double-faults to lose the match, tapping his last serve well wide while a ball-kid was still on the court retrieving his previous serve.

After the match, he posted a screenshot of his career winnings of $8.5m (£6.1m) and wrote: “In the end it’s worth it to suck.”

Cerundolo, whose brother Juan Manuel won the Cordoba Open in Argentina last week, advanced to a quarter-final clash against sixth seed Pablo Andujar.

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