Martina Navratilova cannot fathom why stars may snub Wimbledon

‘I couldn’t care less if there were no points given’: Nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova cannot fathom why stars may snub Grand Slam due to the lack of ranking points as she insists she played for trophies

  • Martina Navratilova has given views on Wimbledon ranking points controversy 
  • The WTA and ATP will not offer any points for the All England Club tournament
  • After Wimbledon chiefs made the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players

Nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has expressed her bemusement at talk star players may snub the Championships this summer due to the lack of ranking points.

It was confirmed on Friday the WTA and ATP would not offer any points for the All England Club tournament after Wimbledon chiefs made the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing due to the war in Ukraine.

Former world No 1 Naomi Osaka hinted on Monday she may skip the third Grand Slam of the season while even Briton’s Cameron Norrie conceded the Championships had been reduced to ‘almost an exhibition’.

Martina Navratilova doesn’t understand why tennis stars may snub Wimbledon this summer

Naomi Osaka has admitted that she is ‘leaning towards’ skipping Wimbledon next month

‘First of all I couldn’t care less if there were no points given,’ Navratilova told TalkTV.

‘I always played for the trophies, not the points and not the money. So for me it was Wimbledon and nothing else, everything else came in second.

Nine-time Wimbledon champion Navratilova was focused on winning trophies not points

‘So the points, it’s not an exhibition. I don’t understand that view, that players wouldn’t play because there are no points. You are playing for computer ranking? I just wanted to hold that trophy, that wonderful rose dish.’

Wimbledon’s decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus also faced opposition last month.

Meanwhile, the recent choice by the ATP and WTA to strip points from the tournament means Moscow-born Daniil Medvedev is set to become world No 1 again due to Novak Djokovic being on course to lose 2,000 points he would otherwise be defending after winning the Championships last year.

Navratilova added: ‘You have a player like [Andrey] Rublev – he has written on the camera “no to war” and he can’t play, so it’s just there is no winning.

‘There is no good way out of it. It’s a bad situation. A horrible situation with the war and a bad situation with Wimbledon making this rule and now another iffy decision, not giving the points.’

Wimbledon’s top officials set to travel to French Open for talks after being stripped of ranking points for banning Russian and Belarusian players from competing… but there are few options in bid to find a compromise

Wimbledon’s top officials will travel to the French Open later this week amid a glimmer of hope that some compromise might be found in the row over ranking points.

However the options are few, with no chance of Russian and Belarussian players being admitted, and any suggestion that a reduction in prize money be used as a bargaining tool completely groundless.

Outspoken Frenchman Benoit Paire insisted on Tuesday that ‘99%’ of male players want the chance to play for points at SW19. ‘I’m sorry for Russians (players) but they are the ones causing all the trouble,’ he said.

British No 2 Dan Evans expressed hope there might be a resolution, saying, ‘I hear people are sitting down together.’ 

Wimbeldon officials will go to the French Open to try and find a ranking points resolution

Bar a U-turn by the ATP and WTA tours, it is difficult to see what progress can be made.

One idea that has been discussed at SW19 is the temporary reintroduction of the grass court seeding formula, which was only abandoned in 2021, and which used past form on the surface to help determine seedings.

This could involve bringing some ranking incentive to bear for the players by using their results from Wimbledon this year to help determine entries and draws for 2023.

In the background is the renewal at the end of the year of the ranking point arrangement between the ATP and Wimbledon, with the potential threat of the Grand Slams playing hard ball over developing their own system.

While Paire’s figure of 99% is an exaggeration it becomes increasingly clear that a majority of the men are not in favour of what their representatives are doing.

At the WTA the women have shown less dissent, but someone definitely unhappy about it was last year’s beaten finalist Karolina Pliskova, who will now forfeit her 1200 points from twelve months ago.

‘It’s quite bad, especially for me,’ she said. ‘I think it’s super tough and unfair and a bad decision, that’s what I think. I suppose there’s not much you can do about it. I still want to go and compete there, that’s for sure, I want to win and maybe get the trophy because I was quite close last year.

‘But that doesn’t change the thinking that I think it’s completely wrong the decision.’

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