Andy Murray has entered the debate over the value of the tennis world rankings by questioning the Williams sisters’ interest in tournaments outside the grand slams.
The rise of Russian Dinara Safina to No 1 has raised the question of whether it is justifiable for a player without a grand slam title to be on top. Serena Williams has won three of the last four grand slam women’s singles titles, however she only stands at No. 2 in the WTA Tour standings. Men’s world No. 2 Murray, who has also still yet to win one of the four top tournaments in tennis, believes there would be little merit in raising the points on offer at the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open just to ensure the winners of those events have a better chance of topping the rankings.
Murray understands why the issue is being discussed, and why there are varying views, but he is convinced the ranking systems as they stand have plenty of merit.
The Scot said:
“Do you not agree that it’s important for the top players like Serena to turn up at the other big events? “Tennis (has) an 11-month calendar. If you have ranking points which are too small for Serena to turn up at some of the smaller events, then all of a sudden the whole calendar is completely pointless and she can turn up — which is probably what she wants to do — at the four slams and play, and then not play for the rest of the year. And I think you have to be rewarded for consistency, and her consistency in slams is great, but in the other tournaments I don’t think it is.”