John McEnroe has labelled Wimbledon’s controversial plan to ban all Russian and Belarus players over the Russian invasion of Ukraine as “a mistake”.
The former ace and current TV commentator told Reuters of his displeasure with the plan.
“It was a mistake. I know that it’s a very horrible, tricky, terrible situation, obviously, in Ukraine,” he said at the French Open on Tuesday.
The 63-year-old said the situation was made worse as the ATP and WTA decided in retaliation to strip all ranking points from the Grand Slam, reducing it to something of a well-paid exhibition.
“And no one else has made that decision. I think there was something with the government? I don’t know exactly. I wish that wasn’t what they did. And I wish the ATP and the WTA didn’t decide it, say right now no points.”
The American called the whole sorry affair “a lose-lose right now”.
“Tennis players, we are like a fraternity. We travel the world. And even if we speak different languages, there’s a connection. And in a small way, it’s like a family. And we need to support each other.
“It’s difficult to see like some of our best players not playing because of something they have nothing to do with. So I hope it is resolved. I don’t know. But it’s a bad situation.”