Published On: Fri, May 27th, 2022

Jamie Murray agrees with brother Andy as Brit urges Wimbledon not to cut prize money | Tennis | Sport

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Jamie Murray has claimed Wimbledon would be mad to cut prize money after the Grand Slam was stripped of ranking points – and he’s agreed with his brother Andy that losing ranking points does not affect the prestige of the tournament. All England Club chief Sally Bolton is scheduled to arrive in Paris on Friday for crisis talks over the issue ripping the sport apart.

The ATP and WTA imposed the points penalty after Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players. Frenchman Lucas Pouille claimed earlier this week he will not play in SW19 because there will be no points and prize money “will be reduced”.

But seven-time Grand Slam winner Murray said: “I don’t think it makes sense from Wimbledon to reduce their prize money because then they will risk players not turning up to play and that’s when the tournament becomes devalued.

“If I am Wimbledon and I have got a full player field, full prize money and no points, I am almost in a better position for negotiations and things like that. Of course, I am always going to advocate for a better share of the prize money with singles and doubles. I don’t see that changing any time soon.”

After Naomi Osaka claimed she was considering skipping Wimbledon because “it’s more like an exhibition”, Andy Murray tweeted this week that the Grand Slam will “never be an exhibition”. He added: “Wimbledon is such a special event. I’m going to be playing for sure. 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.’”

And doubles specialist Jamie said: “The majority of people that go to Wimbledon they are going for a day out at Wimbledon, they are not necessarily hardcore tennis fans. They are watching Court Six and they are not thinking: ‘S***, if this guy wins this match, he will get 180 points, oh my God, this is so exciting.’ They are watching tennis, a bit of Pimms, some strawberries and cream, they are having a good time.

“They don’t care about that. It is more within the tennis circles where there are more on it. For your average fan who is watching it on TV or coming to Wimbledon, it is not affecting their enjoyment of the event at all.”

Players like Dan Evans have expressed their frustration over the lack of consultation over the points penalty and there could be a compromise. “There is talk of freezing the Russian players ranking points and letting everybody else play [for points],” said Murray.

But the Scot, 36, added: “It’s a bit of a mess. Me, I have got friends at the ATP, friends at Wimbledon, friends at the LTA, it’s not an easy situation to be in. Obviously the wider player group would prefer to play for ranking points, I don’t think that is a secret.

“For me I understand the situation that Wimbledon are in. The government giving informal guidance is not really helping anyone because they are pushing pressure on Wimbledon 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 point and breaching the agreements and things like that. Unfortunately it is the players that lose out and are in the middle of it.”

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