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Andy Murray might never return to the level of the Big 3, feels Patrick McEnroe

Andy Murray
Andy Murray
ANALYST
Modified 12 May 2020
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Former doubles Grand Slam winner Patrick McEnroe believes that two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray might never be able to compete with the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic again.

Andy Murray, who is on the comeback trail, has been working hard to get back to top form after undergoing major hip surgery last year. But McEnroe feels the Scot is unlikely to return to his Grand Slam winning ways.

"I would say he could get close but I think it's going to be difficult for him to get back to the level he was at, in other words, right there with [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic," McEnroe told BBC in an interview.

But all is not lost for the Scot yet. McEnroe feels that the level Murray exhibited while winning his first title in over 2.5 years in Antwerp last year was an indication that he could return to the top 15 eventually.

"I do think he could probably get back to the top 20 or top 15. When he came back and won that tournament indoors [the European Open in Antwerp in 2019] that was a great sign," the American added.

At Antwerp, Andy Murray recovered from a set deficit in the final before downing Stan Wawrinka to win his 46th career singles title.

The 53-year-old McEnroe considers Murray an asset to the tennis community, whose return to the top echelons of the sport would be welcomed by the fans.

"So if he could get back and be in the mix, that would be awesome and we would love to see that in the tennis world."

Andy Murray, who was scheduled to make his 2020 season debut at the Miami Masters, will now have to wait at least two more months as the ATP tour is suspended until 13 July owing to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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What else did Patrick McEnroe say about Andy Murray?

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

McEnroe also talked about a fantasy doubles match where he and his brother John McEnroe would team up against Scottish brothers Andy and Jamie Murray.

The younger McEnroe, a Grand Slam doubles winner, believes that he and John would be able to best the Murrays in a hard-fought contest.

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McEnroe said that irrespective of whether they played with wooden racquets or the modern graphite ones, the Murray brothers would pack a punch. However, due to the presence of his brother John - who is widely considered one of the greatest doubles players of all time - the American duo would be just as competitive.

"Either way, it's going the distance, whether we play with the old wood racquets or not," McEnroe said. "Both Murray brothers have amazing hands, so they could play with anything. My brother certainly could and he was arguably the greatest individual doubles player of all time."

The 53-year-old further added that he and Jamie Murray would be the two calm guys in the respective teams. John was notorious for his temper tantrums on the court, while Andy isn't known to be an even-keeled player either.

"You'd have the calm guys - me and Jamie. I'm guessing John and Andy would probably go at it a little bit."

According to McEnroe the speculated match-up would not lack in intensity or colorful language, but at the end of the day it would go the way of the American brothers.

"There would some serious language and some serious intensity going on. It would also be a lot of fun and very competitive but I'm going to give the edge to the McEnroes - obviously - mostly because of my brother."
Published 12 May 2020, 05:05 IST
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