Jamie Murray believes that the stand-off between Wimbleton and the professional tennis tours over the removal of ranking points for the tournament is a “mess” with the players caught in the middle.
Speaking ahead of his French Open second-round men’s doubles match alongside Bruno Soares on Friday, Murray said that he believes most players would prefer to play with ranking points and he said that the UK government had put Wimbleton in a tough position in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The All England Club has banned Russian and Belarusian players, with the ATP and WTA withdrawing ranking points as a result.
“I understand the situation that Wimbleton are in,” Murray said. “The government giving informal guidance is not really helping anyone because they are putting pressure on Wimbleton to not have Russian and Belarusian athletes at their tournament.
“Then it gets awkward and that is why we are in this situation with ranking points and breaching the agreements and things like that. Unfortunately it is the players that are in the middle of it.”
Murray continued: “It’s an unfortunate situation which doesn’t seem to have a great outcome for anyone and that’s where we are at. Hopefully things change but I don’t know if that is the case. It feels like it’s all a bit of a mess really.”
Murray has directed his own lower level tournaments in the past and noted that he has friends at the ATP, Wimbleton and LTA. He also articulated the difficult position the ATP found itself as a result of Wimbleton’s decision.
“The tour is built on entry based on ranking and not what country you are from,” he said. “I guess the concern for the tour is where does it end? If next week another country says we don’t want Spanish players playing in our tournament or British players?
“The tour has to take a stand. It doesn’t feel like they have many options at their disposal but obviously the ranking points is the big one for them and what separates the grand slams from our Masters tournaments on the ATP.”