Andy Murray “does not” support the government’s plan to ban Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon, but added that there is no “right answer” to the difficult situation.
Imbledon officials reiterated their position last week, saying a government directive regarding the invasion of Ukraine left them with no viable alternative but to refuse players from the two countries to take part.
Murray, who is donating all of his prize money to humanitarian aid in Ukraine this season, said the government’s guidance was “unhelpful” and could potentially endanger players’ families.
“I’m not in favor of players being banned,” said the former world number one to reporters in Spain before his first-round match against Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open.
“My understanding of the guide was that Russians and Belarusians can play if they sign a declaration that they are against the war and against the Russian regime. I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel if one of the players did something would happen or.” their families (as a result).
“I don’t think there is a right answer.
“I spoke to some Russian players. I spoke to some Ukrainian players. I feel really bad for the players who are not allowed to play and I understand that it will seem unfair to them.
“But I also know some of the people who work at Wimbledon and I know what a difficult position they were in.
“I feel for everyone, I feel for the players who can’t play and I don’t support either side.”
There was some support for Wimbledon’s position, particularly from Ukrainians in tennis, but the reaction was largely negative as both the ATP and WTA decided whether to impose penalties.
Rafael Nadal, who has won two of his 21 Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon, called the ban “very unfair”.
Before returning to the Spanish capital, Nadal told reporters: “I find it very unfair (towards) my Russian tennis comrades, my colleagues. It is not their fault what is happening to the war at this moment.”
Action against Wimbledon and the previous Lawn Tennis Association lawn tournaments could include the removal of ranking points.
Nadal, who is a member of the ATP Player Council, added: “The 2,000 points when we go to the Grand Slams are really important and we have to go to those tournaments. So we have to see the measures we have to take.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what happens in our game when we see so many people dying and suffering and seeing the bad situation they have in Ukraine.”
World number one Novak Djokovic reiterated his opposition to the ban, saying: “I still stand by my position of not supporting the decision. I guess it’s just not fair, it’s not right, but it is what it is.
“They have the right to make the decision and now I guess it’s up to the players’ council, the tour management, to decide together with the players what’s the best solution in this situation, whether to keep the points, protect the points, take away 50 percent of the points, or whatever.
“I really doubt there will be no points. Probably the more realistic option is to protect the points from the Russian and Belarusian players who don’t play.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/tennis/andy-murray-not-supportive-of-wimbledon-ban-on-russian-players-41606793.html Andy Murray ‘doesn’t support’ Wimbledon ban for Russian players