Andy Murray launches impassioned Wimbledon defence in World Cup comparison

Andy Murray has reacted to claims that Wimbledon will be no more than an ‘exhibition’ tournament after the ATP and WTA decided to strip the tournament of its ranking points

Andy Murray has spoken out in defence of Wimbledon

Andy Murray has passionately defended the prestige of Wimbledon following the decision to strip the tournament of its ranking points this summer.

Last month, The All England Tennis Club confirmed that Russian and Belarusian players would be banned from competing at SW19 amid the war in Ukraine. The authority made the announcement following discussions with the UK Government, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly in support of the measure.

The subsequent fallout has continued to escalate, with the ATP and WTA accusing Wimbledon bosses for unfairly punishing players. World No 1 Novak Djokovic was among a host of leading players to also be critical, whilst Murray himself blamed the Prime Minister for his role in the saga.

And in a major blow to the tournament at SW19, this week the ATP confirmed that players would be unable to boost their ranking at SW19. It’s led to fears of a potential boycott, with Naomi Osaka publicly saying the tournament would be just like an ‘exhibition’ whilst admitting she was now questioning her participation.

But Murray, 35, who was forced to withdraw from this month’s French Open with injury, is having none of it. And the three-time Grand Slam winner cited other sports as a reason why the lack of ranking points wouldn’t detract from the grass-court event.

“I follow golf very closely and have no idea how many ranking points the winner of the The Masters gets,” he tweeted. “Me and my friends love football and none of us know or care how many ranking points a team gets for winning the FIFA World Cup.

Murray withdrew from this month’s French Open


Getty Images)

“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 3rd round match.”

And in his parting shot, the Scot was brutally dismissive of those who claimed the tournament would lose its iconic status: “I guarantee they [the crowd] will remember who wins. Wimbledon will never be an exhibition and will never feel like an exhibition. The end.”

The tweets, spread over three different posts, went down well with followers. Just three hours after being uploaded, they’s notched more than 800 retweets combined, and over 11,000 likes.

Murray’s impassioned post comes in the same week that French player Benoit Paire launched a scathing attack on the ATP. He accused them of “defending Russia more than players” and pointed out tournaments have maintained raking points when players were ruled out with Covid-19.

Another British player, Dan Evans, added that the sanction lacked ‘transparency’. He also accused the ATP of only consulting the top players before making the decision.

Russian player Daniil Medvedev, one of the major names set to be missing from Wimbledon, was unsurprisingly supportive on the organisation though. He labelled the ATP’s reasoning ‘logical’.

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