Andy Murray launches passionate Wimbledon defence as boycott fears loom
Robson announces retirement from tennis aged 28 after injury hell
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Andy Murray has insisted in no uncertain terms that the prestigious reputation of Wimbledon will not be damaged by the absence of ranking points at this year’s tournament, which is set to get underway next month. The ATP and WTA recently announced that no points will be awarded at the All England Club due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players from competing at SW19 amid the ongoing military situation in Ukraine.
The current state of affairs will effectively see Wimbledon turn into an exhibition event, with a number of top players having already voiced their concerns over the lack of incentive to participate in this year’s edition of the tournament. Murray is not convinced that paying fans will be overly worried about the situation, though, with the Scot having clarified his views on the topic in a passionate Twitter rant on Tuesday.
“I follow golf very closely and have no idea how many ranking points the winner of the Masters gets,” wrote Murray. “Me and my friends love football and non of us know or care how many ranking points a team gets for winning the World Cup.
“But I could tell you exactly who won the World Cup and the Masters. I’d hazard a guess that most people watching on centre court at Wimbledon in a few weeks time wouldn’t know or care about how many ranking points a player gets for winning a third round match, but I guarantee they will remember who wins.
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“Wimbledon will never be an exhibition and will never feel like an exhibition. The end.”
It remains to be seen how many high-profile stars will decide to steer clear of playing at Wimbledon later this year as a result of the current situation, which has sparked fury from a number of male and female players on the Tour in recent weeks. Naomi Osaka recently hinted that she would be prepared to miss the on-court action at SW19 due to the lack of ranking points on offer by insisting that she will struggle to motivate herself to play if things do not change in the near future.
“I’m the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up or stuff like that,” Osaka told reporters at the French Open when quizzed on whether or not she would be looking to boycott Wimbledon this year.
“So I think the intention was really good, but the execution is kind of all over the place. I’m not sure why, but I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition.
“I know this isn’t true, right? But my brain just like feels that way. Whenever I think like something is like an exhibition, I just can’t go at it 100 per cent.
“I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances. But, you know, that might change.”
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