Andy Murray “does not support” a ban on Russian and Belarusian players from playing at Wimbledon, but says there is no “right answer” to the predicament.
Speaking to journalists at the Madrid Open, the three-time Grand Slam champion said guidance from the government was “not helpful” and could put players’ families at risk.
“I’m not in favor of players being banned,” Murray said.
“My understanding of the guide is that Russians and Belarusians can play if they sign a statement that they oppose the war and are against the Russian regime.
“I’m not sure how I would feel if something happened to one of the players or their family (as a result).”
The Scotsman, who is donating all of his prize money this season to humanitarian aid in Ukraine, has spoken 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 spoke to some Russian players. I spoke to some Ukrainian players. I feel really bad for the players who are not allowed to play and I understand that it doesn’t seem fair. But I also know some people who work at Wimbledon, and I know what a difficult position they’ve been in.
“I feel for everyone, feel for the players who can’t play, and I don’t support one side or the other.”
Murray’s comments come after the All England Club, which hosts the tournament in south-west London every summer, made an announcement on 20 April to banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the tournament.
The ban prevents players including world number two Daniil Medvedev and female world number four Aryna Sabalenka from participating in a grass court Grand Slam.
On Sunday, Rafael Nadal also called a similar Wimbledon ban “very unfair”, adding: “My Russian tennis teammates, my colleagues. It’s not their fault. what’s going on in this moment with the war.”
Wimbledon officials reiterated their position last week, saying a directive from the government related to the invasion of Ukraine left them with no choice but to refuse the entries of the second-place players. country.
There has been some support for Wimbledon’s position, especially from the Ukrainians in tennis, but the reaction has been largely negative, with the ATP and WTA, the governing bodies of men’s professional tennis tournaments. and women, both decide whether to apply punishment.
Action against Wimbledon and previous grass court tournaments operated by the Lawn Tennis Association may include the removal of rating points.
Nadal, a member of the ATP Players Council, added: “2,000 points, whenever we go to the big tournaments, 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 matter when we can see a lot of people die and suffer and witness the dire situation they’re in. encountered in Ukraine.”