Andy Murray: Wimbledon will never feel like an exhibition; Disagrees with Cameron Norrie, Naomi Osaka

Great Britain’s Andy Murray takes to Twitter to voice disagreement with comments made by Cameron Norrie and Naomi Osaka that Wimbledon has been reduced to “an exhibition” and players “may not turn up”; ATP, WTA stripped ranking points after LTA barred Russian and Belarusian players

Last Updated: 25/05/22 1:20pm

Andy Murray voiced disagreement with comments made by fellow professionals this week about Wimbledon

Andy Murray says Wimbledon “will never feel like an exhibition” in response to comments by Cameron Norrie and Naomi Osaka, who suggested players may not turn up due to ranking points being removed.

Russian and Belarusian players were last month banned from competing at this year’s Wimbledon due to the invasion of Ukraine, a decision which both the WTA and ATP criticised.

As a result, Wimbledon then had its ranking points stripped by the ATP and WTA due to the barring of Russian and Belarusian players from this summer’s Grand Slam tournament.

“Wimbledon is still such a special event. But I think you’ll see top players not playing, just resting and getting ready for the hardcourt events,” Britain’s Norrie said this week.

“It’s an extremely difficult situation with everything going on with the war, but for me it’s tough – having a home slam and not gaining any ranking points from that. You’re not really playing for anything, you’re playing this almost like an exhibition so for me it was tough to see.”

Britain's Cameron Norrie said Wimbledon has been reduced to 'an exhibition' and says he thinks players will not turn up

Britain’s Cameron Norrie said Wimbledon has been reduced to ‘an exhibition’ and says he thinks players will not turn up

Such comments were mirrored by Japan’s Osaka, who spoke following a 7-5 6-4 loss in the French Open first round to 27th seed Amanda Anisimova.

“I’m not sure why, but If I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” she said. “I know this isn’t true, right? But my brain just like feels that way. 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 that might change.

Naomi Osaka this week she was 'leaning towards not playing' at Wimbledon, also calling it 'an exhibition'

Naomi Osaka this week she was ‘leaning towards not playing’ at Wimbledon, also calling it ‘an exhibition’

“I would love to go just to get some experience on grass, but at the same time, for me, it’s kind of – I don’t want to say pointless, no pun intended,” she said. “But I’m the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up. So I think the intention was really good, but the execution is kind of all over the place.”

On Wednesday, Murray – two-time Wimbledon winner in 2013 and 2016 – voiced his disagreement via Twitter:

“I follow golf very closely and have no idea how many ranking points the winner of the The Masters gets. 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 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.”

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