Murray calls on tennis chiefs to implement protocols to deal with players facing serious allegations

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Andy Murray says protocols should be implemented by tennis authorities to deal with situations when players like his first round Wimbledon opponent Nikoloz Basilashvili face serious allegations
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Former world number one Andy Murray said on Saturday protocols and processes should be implemented by tennis authorities when players such as his first round opponent at Wimbledon Nikoloz Basilashvili is subject to serious allegations.

The Georgian 24th seed has carried on playing on the tour whilst facing charges of domestic violence against his ex-wife, which he denies.

A legal process is ongoing.

The pressure off the court has not told on the 29-year-old who has won two titles since March and reached the semi-finals of the Halle grass court tournament last week.

Murray was one of the few players to speak out after allegations of serious assault were made last year by the former girlfriend of Alexander Zverev, which the German insisted were untrue.

"For me, there should be protocols and a process in place when allegations like this are made," said Murray at his pre-Wimbledon press conference.

"I don't know exactly what those processes are. From what I've heard, they're not great.

"That's something that the ATP, the governing bodies, the ITF (International Tennis Federation), the Slams should be looking to implement in my opinion."

The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion said he is in as good a shape as he can be as he prepares for his first singles action at the grass court Grand Slam event since 2017.

He returned to singles play at Queen's last week after he suffered a groin injury in March -- he reached the second round where he lost in straight sets to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini.

"I want to go into Wimbledon feeling as fresh and as comfortable as possible when I get out there," he said.

"Yeah, I would say the time I have spent on court has been good.

"Getting to play with Roger (Federer on Friday) was really cool for me.

"They're the sort of things that probably like six, seven years ago I wouldn't have given any thought to it.

"I would have seen that as just being a practice session pre-major with a top player, and focusing kind of on myself."

- 'To better yourself' -

Murray has had a swathe of fitness issues over the past few years from his hip to his groin but has persistently battled back to play again on the tour.

He said it is the lure of the big moments such as playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon that has been the spur to get over the many low moments of recent times.

"I miss being on Centre Court, things like that.

"I miss the pressure of that, as well.

"That's something I'm looking forward to feeling that again.

"I think, again, like six, seven years ago, I didn't fear that pressure but it was something that, like, I stressed quite a lot about.

"Whereas actually when I reflect on the last few years and stuff, it's actually something I've really missed, playing in front of a big crowd on Centre Court.

"I think also, like, the day-to-day routine of things, just like always trying to better yourself a little bit each day is something that I like, too."

pi/iwd

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