UTS Los Angeles: Schwartzman defeats Paire

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Back on the court for the second time on Day 1 of UTS Los Angeles, Benoit “The Rebel” Paire took on Diego “El Peque” Schwartzman in the fourth match of the day.

Yet again, Paire got off to a fast start, but it was drama with out calls that marked the opening phase of the first quarter. Schwartzman was unhappy with what he felt should have been a clear call of in, while The Rebel seemed to be holding back what he had seen on his side of the court as well.

This led to a small comeback by El Peque, which was quickly snuffed out as Paire went into quarter point at 16-12, winning on his second attempt.

Between quarters, El Peque wasn’t too concerned about the scoreline, paying more attention to the striking similarity between Paire and his coach: “They look brother… They are brothers?”

El Peque wanted for robbery in Los Angeles

Heading into the second quarter, Schwartzman made a big move: he put his cap on backwards.

It made all the difference, as at the crucial junction, El Peque crushed a brilliant backhand passing shot on his bonus card point to draw level. Just as it looked like Schwartzman was going to win the quarter, The Rebel played his bonus card in turn, and grabbed a dominant 16-12 lead.

With the scores 16-13 at quarter point, Paire dropped the first three points, making it sudden death at 16-16. Playing an incredible point under pressure, the Argentinian executed the perfect robbery to steal the quarter 17-16.

No surprises that after the quarter, El Peque gave all credit to his backwards cap, of course.

There’s a reason why he’s called The Rebel

Perhaps Paire was baiting Schwartzman with his tired comment, as it was the Frenchman who raced out to a lead in the third quarter.

So confident was The Rebel in his lead, that he even took the time to climb up chair umpire’s ladder, and have a conversation with the referee face-to-face about his adjudication of the match.

However, a disturbance during an overhead put Paire off his game, causing the Frenchman to throw a 13-9 lead and lose the quarter 14-13 after five quarter points went missing.

It’s safe to say, this was not a good day to be The Rebel’s racquet, with his equipment yet again bearing the brunt of his frustration post-quarter.

When asked to explain his thoughts and feelings following the third quarter loss, Paire responded: “The only thing I need is some beer, gin and tonic, Red Bull and vodka.”

Keep it ups helps Paire keep it up

In the deciding quarter, it took only four points for The Rebel to lose his racquet, this time sending it up for a bird’s eye view of the Dignity Health Sports Park, before it came crashing back down on court.

Just when it looked like Paire might have a complete meltdown and obliterate the remainder of his racquets, the Frenchman opted for a very unique way of processing his emotions: by beginning a game of “keep it up” with Schwartzman. The two hacky-sacked the ball for the better part of a minute between them, offering up an odd but welcome interlude to the tense game of tennis.

Back-to-back bonus cards saw The Rebel gain an advantage, heading into quarter point at 16-12.

Beginning the quarter point with a brief sit down to meditate, Paire was able to shake the monkey off his back from last quarter and send the match into sudden death.

His celebration? A torn open shirt, revealing chest hair to rival Paire’s beard.

Unfortunately for both The Rebel and his racquet, sudden death did not go the Frenchman’s way for the second time today—but he still had the decency to treat the Los Angeles crowd to an on-court shirt change after the match.



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