Novak Djokovic's staggering response to ugly Wimbledon furore

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Pictured here, Novak Djokovic speaks to media at the French Open.
Novak Djokovic says he still intends to play Wimbledon despite the tournament being stripped of rankings points. Pic: Twitter

World No.1 Novak Djokovic says he "intends to go to Wimbledon" to defend his title, despite the controversy surrounding the grass court major at the All England Club.

Djokovic's admission comes amid the WTA and ATP's decision to strip the tournament of rankings points, effectively reducing Wimbledon to a high-profile exhibition event.

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The controversial measure from the governing bodies of women's and men's tennis was taken in response to the All England Club's ban on players from Russia and Belarus competing.

As the defending champion, Djokovic stands to lose 2,000 points because of the decision to remove ranking points from Wimbledon in response to the player ban.

Despite that, and although he admits banning Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine was a "mistake", Djokovic says he will still play the iconic tournament.

"Yes, I intend to go to Wimbledon," said Djokovic after overcoming Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the French Open first round.

“I’m glad that the players got together with ATP and the governing bodies. It shows to the Grand Slams that when there is a mistake - there was from Wimbledon side - that there will be consequences.

“Wimbledon is still Wimbledon, it was my dream as a kid, I never looked at it for points or prize-money, but I understand the group of players affected. It’s a lose-lose situation.”

Djokovic has more to lose than most at Wimbledon, with the 2000 points he's set to lose throwing up the very real possibility that he will also lose his World No.1 status.

"On a personal, individual level, I have been very negatively affected by that," said Djokovic.

He has already lost 2,000 points by not being able to defend his Australian Open title.

Naomi Osaka ponders Wimbledon snub

Earlier Monday, former World No.1 Naomi Osaka dropped a bombshell on the tennis world by admitting she is "leaning towards not playing" Wimbledon.

Osaka made the announcement after her first-round loss to Amanda Anisimova at the French Open on Monday.

The four-time grand slam champion lost 7-5, 6-4 to Anisimova - a 20-year-old American who also beat Osaka in the third round at the Australian Open in January.

Speaking in her post-match press conference, Osaka revealed she's likely to skip Wimbledon because of the WTA and ATP's decision to strip the tournament of rankings points.

Seen here, Naomi Osaka speaks to the media after her loss at the French Open.
Naomi Osaka speaks to the media after her loss at the French Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Osaka said the decision is “is kind of affecting my mentality” and she is “not 100 per cent sure if I’m going to go there.”

“I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances. I’m the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up,” she said.

“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is all over the place.

"I’m sure there will be a bit of back and forth with the whole point situation. Then I guess I’ll make my decision.

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition."

with agencies

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