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Benoit Paire: Comeback Player of the Year

The Comeback Player of the Year Award recognises the player who has overcome serious injury in re-establishing himself as one of the top players on the ATP World Tour. This accolade is part of the 2015 ATP World Tour Awards Presented by Moët & Chandon.

ATP World Tour players have voted Benoit Paire as the Comeback Player Of The Year.

Paire had been lingering inside the Top 50 for a few years when a left knee injury forced him to struggle through 2014. But it didn’t take long for the talented Frenchman to regain his footing this year. He took out No. 28 seed Fabio Fognini en route to the third round at Roland Garros (l. to Tomas Berdych), and the following month captured his first ATP World Tour title in Bastad (d. Robredo), becoming the sixth first-time titlist of 2015. In doing so, he also became the first player since Steve Darcis in 2007 to win an ATP World Tour, ATP Challenger Tour and ITF Futures title in the same season. But arguably his greatest moment came at the US Open, where he shocked World No. 4 and defending champion Kei Nishikori in the opening round in five sets. It marked his third Top-10 win and first over a Top-5 opponent. In October, he fell short in his bid for second career title, losing to top seed Wawrinka in the Tokyo final. He backed up his US Open upset of Nishikori by beating the Japanese star in the semi-finals.

Other Nominees

After a left wrist injury brought his 2014 to an abrupt end, Slovenian-turned Brit Bedene has returned to the ATP World Tour and is enjoying one of the most productive campaigns of his seven-year pro career. In the first week of the 2015 season the 26-year-old qualified for Chennai, then went on to defeat three of the top five seeds en route to his first ATP World Tour final (l. to Stan Wawrinka). In July, he dispatched No. 23-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut in two tie-break sets in the second round in Hamburg, and later this summer he saved two match points to defeat No. 11 Gilles Simon in Winston-Salem.

A serious shoulder injury suffered midway through 2013 had the 26-year-old doubting whether he could play at an elite level again. But he kicked off 2015 by pushing 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to three sets in his hometown of Brisbane. After upsetting Tommy Robredo to reach the second round at Wimbledon, he claimed a pair of Challenger titles in Lexington and Aptos. In the fall, he again took out Robredo in reaching the Round of 16 in Beijing.  

The American has had much to overcome in 2015. Due to hip surgery, he didn’t play his first match until Indian Wells in March. His knee kept him from playing at 100 percent during a first-round loss at Wimbledon. After winning the first two sets of his second-round match against Ruben Bemelmans at the US Open, he collapsed to the court, a victim of the soaring humidity. But as the 23-year-old noted via Twitter, “life is full of speed bumps, but I'll be back even stronger.” In the midst of it all, he captured his first ATP World Tour title in Houston (d. Sam Querrey), recording four straight wins over seeded players in the process. In May, he recorded his eighth Top-20 win over No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov at Roland Garros, where he went on to become the youngest American into the fourth round since Pete Sampras in 1993. He made his Davis Cup debut in September, leading the US back into World Group with a pair of singles wins against Uzbekistan. In October, Sock teamed with Vasek Pospisil for their fourth career doubles title in Beijing.

 Name 2014 Ranking 
 2015 Ranking
 2015 Record
Aljaz Bedene  145  50 15-14
John Millman
 159  76 4-8
Benoit Paire  118  23 23-15
Jack Sock
 42  32 28-15

Table values correct as at 19 October, 2015