must look beyond the 'big four', says Jamie Murray
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[June 29, 2017]
(Reuters) - Doubles specialist
Jamie Murray believes ATP must focus on the long-term future of the
game and not just promote the 'big four' of men's tennis that
include his brother Andy.
The 31-year-old Scot, who won the Queen's Club doubles title with
Brazilian Bruno Soares, said the constant focus on the top players
was undermining the quality of tennis the rest of the field was
capable of producing on the tour.
The men's singles field is dominated by Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic,
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal with only five of the last 40 grand
slam crowns have eluded the quartet.
"The ATP have pushed these four guys (Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic,
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) which means the problem is that
anyone not in the top ten isn't very good and that's not true,"
Jamie told the Times.
"Andy lost last week to Jordan Thompson, who (was) 90 in the world,
and everyone says it's the worst loss ever, but the guy winning the
US Open golf could be 100th in the world and no one says anything
but 'well played'.
"When people think of tennis they think of the four players at the
top of the game. The sport isnít promoted, the players are -- and
that will be a problem when these guys stop playing."
The top three seeds Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic made
early exits at the Queen's Club last week but Jamie believes the
tournament still had players in the draw that produced quality
tennis for the rest of the week.
[to top of second column]
Great Britain's Jamie Murray and Brazil's Bruno Soares celebrate
with the trophy after winning the final against France's Julien
Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin Action Images via Reuters/Tony
"At the Queen's, the top three seeds lost on the Tuesday in the
first round and everyone was panicking, saying it's a disaster for
the tournament," he added.
"But you got an incredible final that was really exciting (the
35-year-old Feliciano Lopez beating Marin Cilic in three sets)."
Jamie and his doubles partner Soares, who also won in Stuttgart
earlier this month, hope to win their third grand slam title
together at next week's Wimbledon.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan
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