“Russians will be jailed” John McEnroe gets into a heated argument with Tim Henman, disapproves of both Wimbledon and ATP over handling of the situation

Tennis great John McEnroe engages in a war of words with Tim Henman over the ongoing drama about the upcoming 2022 Wimbledon Championships.

Tim Henman and John McEnroe
Tim Henman and John McEnroe

Former World No. 1 and 7-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe took digs at former World no. 4 Tim Henman during the coverage of the 2022 French Open with the two former players currently working with Eurosport for the Grand Slam. The two were involved in the discussion of whether the decision by ATP and WTA to strip the 2022 Wimbledon Championships of its ranking points was correct or not and whether the Grand Slam itself was correct to ban the Russian and Belarusian players.

With the Russian forces not moving out of Ukraine with the war now completing 3 months since it began on 24th February, the Wimbledon along with the LTA decided to ban all Russian and Belarusian players. In retaliation to it, the ATP and WTA decided to make their decision by making this year’s Wimbledon nothing but a high-paying exhibition event as it will offer no points to the players.

The Belarus players got involved after their country agreed to allow passage to Russian planes and troops to use their facilities such as their airports and other infrastructural facilities. Henman had earlier expressed his sympathies for the players from the two nations but also said that the Grand Slam cannot go and challenge the UK government’s decision by saying, “Actually, we think we know better than you the government so we’re going to do something different. That’s not going to happen, John.”

McEnroe replied by saying, “I’m gonna go after Mr Henman because I think it was a mistake by Wimbledon to do what they did in the first place, kicking out the Russians and Belarusians. I don’t know how they came up with the Belarusians too but that’s a whole other story. In my opinion, compounded by the fact that now the ATP and the WTA say there are now no points, I don’t see how that helps the players.”

Also Read: “It’s a lose-lose situation” Novak Djokovic makes the decision on his participation at this year’s Wimbledon

John McEnroe says Russian players will be jailed if they mention ‘War’

Daniil Medvedev, Victoria Azarenka, Andrey Rublev - All are likely to miss the Wimbledon 2022
Daniil Medvedev, Victoria Azarenka, Andrey Rublev – Some of the top players to miss the Wimbledon 2022

McEnroe also stressed the point that the players from Russia cannot openly discuss or show their disapproval of the ongoing war in Ukraine. He made this point with regard to the earlier reports of Russian players being asked to make a written declaration of not supporting the war and show that they do not support their President Vladimir Putin in the War.

“If the players really believe that Wimbledon had made a big mistake by not allowing the Russian and Belarusian players to play, in my opinion, they should have boycotted the tournament. The players can spend 15 years in prison if they say that there’s even a war going on, anything negative about what’s happening right now,” added McEnroe further during the debate with Henman.

With neither of the tennis bodies ready to back down from their decision it does look likely that this year’s Wimbledon will be indeed a rich exhibition event for all the participating players who will make the trip to the major well knowing that irrespective of whatever round they reach, the won’t be getting any ranking points in their tally.

Also Read: “They decided without talking to anybody” Novak Djokovic discloses Wimbledon had other options instead of putting the ban on Russian players

Also Read: “I don’t have a clear opinion”- Rafael Nadal refuses to be dragged into the Wimbledon points controversy

Follow our page FirstSportz Tennis for the latest updates