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Andy Murray responds to Naomi Osaka’s claims and insists ‘Wimbledon will never be an exhibition’ after the Japanese star suggested she could pull out of the tournament due to stripped ranking points


Andy Murray has taken to social media to disagree with Naomi Osaka’s claims Wimbledon will be an “exhibition” after the Grand Slam was stripped of ranking points.

The ATP and WTP Tours have made the joint decision that the iconic tournament will not contribute to the official rankings, following the decision to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus from participating.

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Murray is a two-time Wimbledon champion and knows all about the prestige of winning at SW19 after ending Britain’s long wait for local glory

Four-time Major champion Naomi Osaka has suggested she could retire and not play on SW19 lawns this season, saying the lack of points on offer will mean she will have less “motivation” to win.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Cameron Norrie even claimed it had been reduced to “almost an exhibition”.

Murray has since taken to Twitter to hit back at such claims, insisting winning the famous pineapple-topped trophy is far more important than earning points to improve a player’s ranking.

“I follow golf very closely and have no idea how many ranking points the Masters winner gets,” Murray wrote on social media.

“My friends and I love football and none of us know or care how many ranking points a team gets for winning the World Cup.

“But I could tell you exactly who won the World Cup and the Masters. I would venture to assume that most people watching on center court at Wimbledon in a few weeks would not know or care how many ranking points a player gets for winning a match in the third round.

Andy Murray responds to Naomi Osaka’s claims and insists ‘Wimbledon will never be an exhibition’ after the Japanese star suggested she could pull out of the tournament due to stripped ranking points

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Osaka made the suggestion after being eliminated from Roland Garros in the first round


“But I guarantee they will remember the winner. Wimbledon will never be an exhibition and will never look like an exhibition. The end.”

The 35-year-old tennis great’s comments come after former world No. 1 Osaka revealed on Monday that she could skip the Grand Slam for the second time in two years – which led Piers Morgan to call her a “pout brat”.

“I would say like the decision [to strip Wimbledon of ranking points] affects my mentality of going to the grass,” said the Japanese player.

“I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to go.

“I would love to go there just to gain experience on the grass, but at the same time, for me, I don’t mean useless – no pun intended – but I’m the type of player who gets motivated by seeing my ranking up or stuff like that.

Andy Murray responds to Naomi Osaka’s claims and insists ‘Wimbledon will never be an exhibition’ after the Japanese star suggested she could pull out of the tournament due to stripped ranking points

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Ask Andy Murray what it means to win the Wimbledon title…

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition. I know that’s not true, but my brain just feels that way. When I think something looks like an exhibit, I just can’t go 100%.

Norrie also expressed concerns about the competition following the removal of ranking points.

“Wimbledon is always such a special event,” he said. “But I think you’ll see the best players not playing, resting and preparing for hard court events. [later in the summer].

“Especially those who don’t care too much about money. So I could see a lot of players, well maybe some top players, not playing because of that.

Andy Murray responds to Naomi Osaka’s claims and insists ‘Wimbledon will never be an exhibition’ after the Japanese star suggested she could pull out of the tournament due to stripped ranking points

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Norrie is also concerned that Wimbledon could be ‘almost like an exhibition’

“It’s an extremely difficult situation with everything that’s going on with the war, but for me it’s difficult – having a home slam and not gaining ranking points because of it. You’re not really playing for what whatever, you play almost like an exhibition, so for me it was hard to see.

“There are already not many tournaments on grass, and then suddenly there are no more points [at Wimbledon].”

Wimbledon officials will travel to Roland Garros later this week for talks as they seek solutions ahead of the tournament which begins at the end of June.

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