Benoit Paire and James Ward Have a … Moment.

Benoit Paire hands on hips James Ward gesturing Cincinnati Masters practice tennis at net

It’s that time of year again, when we dig through our Cincinnati Masters archives and bring you tons of tennis pics and stories — all in anticipation of bringing you even more new material when the tourney rolls around in August.

The fun of wading through thousands of frames is when an unexpected bit of humor or a little hint of a character study appears before our very eyes. French player Benoit Paire is often a source of these revelations, especially when he’s in one of his warm and funny moods, as you’ll see he was here.

Benoit Paire Cincinnati Masters practice 2015 break with cell phone

This is Benoit, taking a short break during his practice session with British player James Ward.

 

James Ward Cincy practice 2015 close-up

This is James.

 

Cincinnati Benoit Paire practice waiting for backhand swing

Their practice session was at a fairly moderate pace, just getting a rhythm going, warming up the muscles while going through the serve, groundstrokes, overheads, etc.

James Ward practice session Western and Southern Open tennis

Because it was Benoit, it also included some showing off…

Cincinnati Benoit Paire Ben soccer footie with tennis ball showing off playing pics images photos

…and checking the cell phone…

Benoit Paire on cell phone Cincy tennis 2015

There was also a bit of chatting at net.

Paire Ward Cincinnati

And if you look really closely… (which you can on all these photos, feel free to click or zoom!) … because it’s Benoit, there’s a graceful sort of intimacy about this whole collecting of the tennis balls moment.

James Ward gets in close next to Benoit Paire

And James is quite close in the above photo, which we’ll zoom in on for you…

Close-up of Benoit Paire and James Ward staring at him 2015

Benoit-James-moment-P1017549

Ben takes a step back, perhaps a little uncertain about what the hell just happened there.

 

Benoit Paire hands on hips James Ward gesturing Cincinnati Masters practice tennis at net

But very quickly, Val’s little French pastry is back to a casual pose as they continue their discussion.

 

Handshake between Benoit Paire and James Ward at practice in Cincinnati

Then there’s the handshake, which Ben seems to be teasingly turning into a bit of an arm wrestle…

(Article continues below.)



Benoit James handshake clasping hands at net smooshy

Then things get closer yet again.

 

Benoit Paire laugh with James Ward

Not quite ready to go back to the tennis, Benoit shares a few more of his thoughts with James…

Benoit and James having a laugh Cincinnati practice

…who seems highly amused.

James Ward laugh smile

The amusement continues when Ben somehow drops his racquet and folds himself in half to retrieve it…

Benoit Paire bends over crouches to pick up fallen racquet laughing cute ass pics photos images

Benoit-James-moment-P1017565

After some slightly more intensive rallies on the court, the guys once again meet up, this time for the farewell handshake.

Paire Ward going in the for the handshake workout hit 2015

Paire Ward handshake whit shorts bulge

James looks a little uncertain about what the next move will be, but Benoit leans in this time…

Ben and James hug it out

…for a rather smooshy hug.

James Ward and Benoit Paire intimate smoosh hug embrace

James looks more amused (pleased?) as the hug goes on, while Benoit seems to be bubbling over with laughter…

Paire and Ward laughing hugs

And then…sadly… the boys went their separate ways.

Benoit-James-moment-P1017620

Practice sessions can have all kinds of dynamics, with players adopting very business-like attitudes, or total goofing off with friends, or a volatile/therapeutic session for a player who’s not at his or her best. In this case, Ben and James seemed to bond very well, and clearly they enjoyed each other’s company. And we might not be wrong in saying that James is a little bit smitten with Benoit… like pretty much everyone else that sees him in person.

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