Naomi Osaka lost in the first round of the French Open this week, and she was immediately asked what she expects out of Wimbledon, which begins in just a few weeks. Osaka said she might skip out on the third Grand Slam of the year.
Wimbledon recently banned all Russian and Belarusian players from competing in this year’s event due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. In response, the ATP announced that there would be no ranking points allowed at Wimbledon this year. The 2021 ranking points from the tournament were also taken away. Players like Roger Federer and Serena Williams are expected to lose their world ranking whether they play at Wimbledon or not.
This decision caused some tennis players, including Osaka, to wonder whether playing in Wimbledon is even worth it if it can’t help their world ranking at all.
“I’m not sure why, but If I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” Osaka said, via The Guardian. “I know this isn’t true, right? But my brain just like feels that way. I just can’t go at it 100%. I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances, but that might change.”
The four-time Grand Slam champion’s “exhibition” comment sparked two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to respond on Twitter on Wednesday.
Wimbledon is a special tournament for the British tennis player. He’s even made history in 2013 by becoming the first British man to win the tournament since 1936. For him, Wimbledon is more than just an opportunity to earn ranking points. It’s a historic moment in a tennis player’s career.
“I follow golf very closely and have no idea how many ranking points the winner of the The Masters gets,” Murray said in his Twitter thread. “Me and my friends love football and non of us know or care how many ranking points a team gets for winning the FIFA 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.”
Murray is currently ranked No. 67 in the world. He hasn’t officially announced his return to Wimbledon, but it is likely he will play. Last year, he made it to the third round.
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