High praise for Andy Murray from Rafael Nadal’s former coach Toni Nadal

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray was the “only one who really competed” with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal during their heyday, according to Toni Nadal.

The Big Three have dominated tennis in the past two decades, winning 52 Grand Slams and more than 200 singles titles between them.

For a while it was considered the Big Four as Murray won 45 singles titles, including three majors and two Olympic gold medals, and spent a total of 41 weeks at the top of the world rankings.

However, his hip injury got progressively worse while he was No 1 in the world in 2016 and he soon spent more time on the sidelines than on the court.

After an unsuccessful hip operation at the start of 2018, he announced before this year’s Australian Open that he planned to retire at Wimbledon.

He underwent hip surgery again in January this year, but it remains to be seen if he will return to action to have a farewell at SW19.

Nadal’s former coach, Uncle Toni, believes Murray was “always there, very close to” the Big Three during his peak.

“For tennis lovers, Murray is a great player not just for winning three Grand Slams but he was the only one who really competed with (Roger) Federer, (Novak) Djokovic and Rafael,” he said during an interview with Cadena Ser, which was translated by Tennis World.

“He was always there, very close to them. Funnily enough, before going through all these issues, he had his best year, he was world No 1 playing at a high level.

“If he can recover, it would be good. It’s not easy because hip issues are complicated, several high-level players were forced to retire and hopefully, it’s not the case.”

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