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 number one 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”.
“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.
“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 number one 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.”