John McEnroe has backed Andy Murray to follow in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s footsteps as he looks to return to the top.
After spending nearly a full year on the sidelines due to a hip injury and surgery, Murray finally made his comeback in June this year.
However, instead of coming out all guns blazing, he has eased his way back into things and even finished the 2018 season early in order to be 100% at the start of the 2019 campaign.
However, the big question on everyone’s lips before the new season is: will he be the player he was before the injury?
McEnroe says the 31-year-old can draw inspiration from Federer, Nadal and Djokovic as the trio made successful comebacks following injury.
“He was able to be one of the best players of the last 10 years and winning majors by his athletic ability,” McEnroe is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“If he’s at 100 per cent or close to it I would expect he would be in the top 10 within six to nine months. But if he’s at 80 per cent, that’s a totally different person.
“Looking at what Federer did at 36, looking at Nadal. Djokovic suddenly was the old Djokovic this year, so I’m sure he looks at those guys and thinks: ‘I should be able to do something akin to that’.”
In Murray’s absence, Kyle Edmund took over the baton as the British No 1.
The 23-year-old reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the start of the year, won his maiden ATP Tour title in Antwerp and also finished the year at a career-high No 14.
“I think it’s realistic that he can be in the top 10, but he’ll be feeling pressure early on in the season and his ranking will drop out of the top 20 if he doesn’t do well there,” McEnroe said.
“He has to handle that emotionally, knowing there’s a full year ahead.”
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