Two-time winner Andy Murray has insisted Wimbledon “will never be an exhibition” amid the ongoing row over its lack of ranking points.
The WTA and ATP will not offer any points for the All England Club tournament after Wimbledon chiefs made the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing due to the war in Ukraine.
Former world number one Naomi Osaka hinted on Monday she may skip the third grand slam of the season because the absence of ranking points means “it’s more like an exhibition”.
However, Murray believes the prestige of winning a Wimbledon title, as he did in 2013 and 2016, should eclipse any number of ranking points.
In a series of posts on his official Twitter account, the 35-year-old Scot wrote: “I follow golf very closely and have no idea how many ranking points the winner of the @TheMasters gets.
“Me and my friends love football and non of us know or care how many ranking points a team gets for winning the @FIFAWorldCup.
“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 @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
“But I guarantee they will remember who wins. @Wimbledon will never be an exhibition and will never feel like an exhibition. The end.”
In response to Murray’s assertion that spectators would not “know or care” about the ranking points on offer, former professional Mardy Fish replied: “Perhaps… but the players do.”
Murray replied: “Absolutely the players do. I don’t dispute that. I’d rather play for points however it’s not the be all and end all..do you think the top golfers would still play @TheMasters if there was no points?
“Would Mito Pereira rather have won the PGA championship and earned no points or Finished 3rd and got however many ranking points he got?
“I could be wrong but I don’t think any tennis player serving for a Slam title, any footballer taking a penalty in a World Cup shootout, or any golfer teeing off on the 18th hole of a major was thinking about ranking points.
“What’s making them nervous in my opinion is the possibility of winning a historic/prestigious event in the sport they love and have trained most of their life for not the thought of ranking points.
“I think the player field at Wimbledon will reflect this anyway congrats to all The players that earned 90 atp/wta ranking points @rolandgarros today!”
British number one Cameron Norrie said at the weekend that Wimbledon stripped of ranking points would be “almost like an exhibition”, but, speaking after his French Open second-round win over Jason Kubler, he insisted it remained a “special” tournament.
“It’s tough to see them take away the points, but, for me, Wimbledon is such a special event. I’m going to be playing for sure,” he said.
“I want to go out and try and win the title. I don’t think not having points there is going to take anything away from that, as anyone, any fan watching, they are going to see that and think, ‘Wow, he’s won Wimbledon!
“It’s not going to be, ‘Oh, he’s got 2,000 points there’.”
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