Andy Murray ‘not supportive’ of Wimbledon ban of Russian players

Andy Murray has said he is “not supportive” of the Government’s plan to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in Wimbledon.

However, he added, there was no “right answer” to the difficult situation.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph and other media at the Madrid Open, three-time grand slam winner said the guidance from the Government “was not helpful” and could potentially put the families of players at risk.

“I’m not supportive of players getting banned,” Murray said.

“My understanding of the guidance was that Russians and Belarusians can play if they sign a declaration that they’re against the war and against the Russian regime. I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel if something happened to one of the players or their families (as a result).”

Andy Murray said the Government’s guidance to Russian and Belarusian players could put their families at risk (Steven Paston/PA)

(PA Wire)

The Scottish player who is is donating all of his prize money this season to humanitarian relief in Ukraine spoke out about the decision ahead of his opening match against 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

“I don’t think there’s a right answer,” Murray said.

“I have spoken to some of the Russian players. I’ve spoken to some of the Ukrainian players. I feel really bad for the players who aren’t allowed to play and I get that it will seem unfair to them. But I also know some of the people who work at Wimbledon, and I know how difficult a position they were in.

I’m not supportive of players getting banned.

Andy Murray

“I feel for everyone, feel for the players that can’t play, and I don’t support one side or the other.”

Rafael Nadal similarly branded Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players “very unfair” as the ATP considers its response.

Wimbledon officials reiterated their position last week, saying that a directive from the Government regarding the invasion of Ukraine had left them with no viable alternative but to refuse entries from players from the two countries.

Nadal is playing his first tournament in six weeks after suffering a stress fracture of a rib (PA)

(PA Wire)

There has been some support for Wimbledon’s position, especially from Ukrainians within tennis, but the reaction has been largely negative, with the ATP and WTA both deciding whether to impose penalties.

Speaking ahead of his return to action at the Madrid Open, Nadal told reporters in the Spanish capital: “I think it’s very unfair (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war.”

I think it’s very unfair (on) my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues. It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war

Rafael Nadal on Wimbledon’s ban

Action against Wimbledon and the preceding grass-court tournaments run by the Lawn Tennis Association could include the removal of ranking points.

Nadal, who is a member of the ATP Player Council, added: “The 2,000 points, whenever we go to the grand slams, they are really important and we have to go to those tournaments. So we will have to see the measures that we take.

“At the end of the day, what happens in our game, it doesn’t have any importance when we can see so many people dying and suffering and seeing the bad situation they are having in Ukraine.”

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