McEnroe: Murray can retain SW19 title despite slump

John McEnroe, below, is a big fan of Andy Murray's game

John McEnroe, below, is a big fan of Andy Murray's game

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Tennis legend John McEnroe believes Andy Murray’s current lowly ranking would be no impediment to him retaining his Wimbledon title this summer.

The Dunblane superstar has plummeted from second to eighth since last summer, partly as a result of back surgery, but McEnroe surmises that Stanislas Wawrinka’s shock Australian Open victory proves the Majors are wide open this year. McEnroe, who’ll be returning to the Brodies Champions of Tennis ATP event in Edinburgh from June 19-22, said: “The one piece of advice I would give Andy Murray right now would be just to reflect on his success of the past couple of years.

“That’s assuming he’s healthy. If he’s not, he’s going to be battling himself as much as anyone else.

“He has to keep in mind what he’s accomplished and not crank up the pressure on himself.

“No one can ever take away Wimbledon, the US Open and the Olympic win he had.

“There are further opportunities that will come about and I would tell him that.

“If you look at what happened in Australia, no one expected Stanislas Wawrinka, who was eight in the world at the time, to win it.

“The game can be very unpredictable. Who would have thought you’d be watching the first couple of clay court events and Nadal not winning them.

“I’m guessing that if Andy’s back had been bothering him, he wouldn’t have expected to have come back within three months.

“I’m sure he timed it in a way that he’d be peaking around the time of the French Open or, at the latest, Wimbledon.

“He’s just got to go with his instincts because his instinct are what took him to the level where he won his Major trophies.

“I’m guessing his instincts would be telling him to make sure he’d be most ready to play at his best at Wimbledon.”

McEnroe revealed he would welcome the opportunity to coach Murray, should the opportunity arise.

He added: “I’m quite busy doing my own thing, but, if the right situation came along and I got an opportunity to coach a great player, it would certainly be something to think about.

“If Andy Murray picked up the phone to me and asked me to coach him, of course I would think about it.”

McEnroe admits he’s really looking forward to performing in Edinburgh for the second consecutive year.

He added: “The thing that made me really want to come back again this year was the fact that the crowds were so appreciative about getting to see some of the guys up close.

“I think if you had to pick one thing it would be that. All the players were of the same opinion that they wanted to come back and hopefully the weather would lend itself to an even better quality of play.

“I’m not exactly sure yet who I will be playing yet but usually I would come up and play one day of doubles and a couple of days of singles.

“I had fun playing with Tim Henman. Doubles is more manageable when you play with some of the younger guys.

“No matter who it is that I play, the main thing for me is that I’m feeling good and the body’s in good shape, because that way I feel as if I have a fighting chance of making a good match and playing well.”

There are 2000 tickets available per session at Raeburn Place, with individual tickets starting at £30. Family tickets – are also available. Full details are available from www.championsoftennis.com.