Tim Henman Clashes With McEnroe Over Wimbledon Points Ban - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Grand Slam

Tim Henman Clashes With McEnroe Over Wimbledon Points Ban

After an awkward exchange on live TV, Henman was unaware that an off-air conversation he was having with Eurosport host Barbara Schett was also being broadcasted.

Avatar

Published

on

A ball going over the net during the match between Andy Murray (GBR) and Milos Raonic (CAN) in the Gentlemen’s Singles final on Centre Court. The Championships 2016 at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 13 Sunday 10/07/2016. AELTC/Bob Martin

Following Naomi Osaka’s revelation that she may not play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships, Tim Henman found himself in a tense argument with John McEnroe during a live discussion on Eurosport UK.

 

The four-time Grand Slam champion is the biggest name to date to hint that she may not play in the grass-court major following the decision to remove points from the tournament. This year Wimbledon has banned Russian and Belarussian athletes from playing due to the Ukrainian war. A decision which has prompted anger from other governing bodies of the sport who argue it is unfair to ban a group of players due to their nationality. It is feared that other players might follow the same path as Osaka in the coming months.

Henman, who is a member of the All England Tennis Club board, played down any potential significance over Osaka’s latest comment. Insisting that he believes a ‘vast majority’ of players will still participate in the Grand Slam.

“At the end of the day she is speaking for herself. I think the vast majority of players would look at the opportunity of playing at Wimbledon, the history and prestige of the event,” Henman said during the live broadcast.
“For a top player like Naomi, she is capable of winning any tournament she plays, so the idea of her having the opportunity of potentially winning the Wimbledon title and then turning that down I was certainly surprised to hear that. That’s her prerogative.”

However, the former British No.1 found himself under further pressure on air after McEnroe blasted the ban and even endorsed the possibility of a player boycott should they want to. Something which has only ever happened once in the Open Era back in 1973. That occured when the recently formed Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) stated that none should compete if Nikola Pilic was not allowed to compete. Pilic was banned from the event by his national federation for allegedly refusing to play in a Davis Cup tie.

“I think it was a mistake by Wimbledon to do what they did in the first place. Kicking out the Russians and the Balarussians. I don’t know how they came up with the Belarussians too, but that’s a whole other story,” McEnroe commented.
“Then in my opinion it is compounded by the fact the ATP and WTA says there are no points. I don’t see how that helps the players. If the players really believe Wimbledon made a big mistake they should boycott the tournament.”

The reason why Belarussian players are banned from Wimbledon is due to their country’s support of Russia in the war. This is why on the ITF, WTA and ATP Tour’s they are only allowed to compete as neutral athletes like their Russian counterparts.

Henman continued to defend Wimbledon’s decision making but conceded that it was a lose-lose situation for all of those involved. There was previous talk of allowing players to participate if they signed documents condemning the actions of their government. However, this proposal never materialized due to safety concerts over players and their families.

“The reality of this situation for the championships, players and the Tour’s is that there are no winners. I feel enormous sympathy for the Russian and Belorussian players that cannot play,” he said.
“When you go through the circumstances that were presented for Wimbledon. The directive from the government is players are not allowed to play as neutral athletes as it has been on the Tour. The question in return is Wimbledon expected to turn around and say to the Government ‘actually we think we know better and we are going to do something different?’ That’s not going to happen.”

The debate between the two ended due to Novak Djokovic’s first round match starting. However, there was a blip during the warm-up when Henman’s microphone was accidentally kept on and a private conversation between him and Eurosport host Barbara Schett was broadcasted.

Henman: That’s it, I’m not talking about Wimbledon again!
Schette: He (McEnroe) brought it (Wimbledon points ban) up, actually I brought it up. Osaka brought it up, but Jesus, not easy for you.
Henman: That’s allright
Schette: I think that’s enough. Maybe we have to do it one more time with Christ (Evert)?

It was a tough day at the office for Henman to say the least.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…

Avatar

Published

on

By

Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

 

Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

The Wimbledon Naughty List: Which Players Have Been Fined And What For?

Ubitennis takes a look at who has been hit with a penalty and more importantly why.

Avatar

Published

on

Nick Kyrgios might be the player everybody’s talking about due to his behavior but few realize that he is one of 19 to be hit with a financial penalty during the first week of Wimbledon.

In fact, more than $75,000 worth of fines has already been issued during the first week of the championships. According to official data, more than three times as many men have committed an offense than women. Although interestingly it is only two female players who have been punished for receiving coaching and nobody in the men’s draw.

Australia’s Kyrgios leads the leaderboard for the biggest fine after what has been a controversial past few days. In his first round match, he argued with the umpire and spat in front of some people in the crowd who he said were ‘disrespecting him.’ Resulting in him being hit with a $10,000 penalty. He later said during his press conference that he was tired of being verbally abused by some fans watching him play.

 

Then on Saturday in a dramatic clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas he argued once again with officials, got a warning for swearing and at one stage called for his opponent to be defaulted for hitting a ball into the stands. 

“Why would I need to apologize? I’m getting fined for it. Because I got — I always get fined. I’m very keen to see what he will get after today.” Kyrgios said following his third round win. 

Kyrgios has been fined another $4000 for his antics and Tsitsipas has to pay $10,000 for his behavior. The relationship between the two took another dramatic turn after the match when the Greek accused his peer of bullying during an explosive press conference

After Kyrgios, America’s Reilly Opelka was docked $5000 for swearing. The value of the fine is an interesting one when three other players have also been fined for the same offense but they only have to pay $3000. The difference could be due to repeated swearing during the match.

The majority of the men’s fInes are for either unsportsmanlike conduct or audible obscenities. The only exception is Benoit Paire who was fined $2500 for equipment abuse.

As for the ladies’ draw, Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko received the biggest fine ($4500) for coaching. Former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza was another player to be published for her actions.

Here is a breakdown of the fines issued between Day 1 and Day 6 of the championships. 

WOMEN

  • Daria Saville AUS (round one) $4000 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE
  • Lesia Tsurenko UKR (round two) $4500 – COACHING
  • Garbine Mugurza ESP (round 2) $3500 – COACHING
  • Harriet Dart GBR (round 2) $4000 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE

MEN

  • Fernando verdasco ESP (round one) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Adrian Mannarino FRA (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Stan Wawrinka SWI (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Yoshihito Nishioka JPA (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Nick Kyrgios AUS (round one) $10,000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Pedro Martinez ESP (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Diego Schwartzman ARG (round one) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Lukas Klein SVK (round one) $3000 –  UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Reilly Opelka USA (round two) $5000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Benoit Paire (round one) $2500 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE
  • Jiri Vesely CZE (round two) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina ESP (round two) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Denis Shapovalov CAN (round 2) £3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Nick Kyrgios (round 3) $4000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (round 3) $10,000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

(VIDEO) Day 7 at Wimbledon: Jannik Sinner Stuns Alcaraz, Djokovic Fights Back

Ubitennis found Ubaldo Scanagatta reflects on all the action that took place on Sunday with renowned commentator Steve Flink.

Avatar

Published

on

By

Jannik Sinner joins a small group of only six Italian men to have reached the last eight at SW19. The 20-year-old ousted the fierce Carlos Alcaraz in four sets. Another four-set triumph was Djokovic’s win over Dutch walk card Tim Van Rijthoven.

 

Hall of Famer Flink joins Ubitennis to give his view on the events that have taken place. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending