John McEnroe has Roger Federer and Serena Williams theory on Andy Murray at Wimbledon

Wimbledon in numbers

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John McEnroe believes Andy Murray’s persistence in continuing on the ATP Tour and his self belief in wanting to return to his best form is down to what the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams are doing. Murray has made fleeting appearances on the tour this season with the former world No 1 continuing to struggle with injury issues.

His defeat to Matteo Berrettini at Queen’s last week was just the first ATP singles match Murray has played in 2021.

Murray though will make his return to singles tennis at a Grand Slam next week at the scene of his famous wins from 2013 and 2016.

At 34 years of age though and now ranked 119th in the world, not many are expecting to Murray to repeat his previous heroics.

For some, seeing Murray compete at Wimbledon at all will be an achievement in itself given his injury troubles over the past few years.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has batted away suggestions this could be his last Wimbledon championships though.

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And McEnroe believes Murray’s hunger to succeed on the tour is down to the longevity Federer and Williams – both 39 years of age – have shown.

“I’ll tell you what I’ve seen, and I haven’t seen very much, he hasn’t played very much, but what I have seen is someone who is trying to get healthy,” he said.

“Seems like he’s struggling to get back to that movement which is so key.

“I just hope he’s able to maintain a level of health where he can do his thing.


“If he was able to do that, he’d be in the top 10. Obviously to me he’s not able to go 100 per cent.

“I don’t know if that will change or if this is just permanent.

“I don’t know how much longer he can go if, in fact, he’s playing at 80%, whatever percent it is, however much less than a hundred it is. It’s clear that it’s not at a hundred.

“I’m not a doctor. I hope he can get back to as close to 100 per cent as possible. If he get into the 90s, you’d see his ranking go up in a hurry because it’s clear he still wants to play.

“I think he’s looking at Novak and the other guys, Rafa and Roger, ‘I can still win events if I’m able to be healthy’.”

Chris Evert, who joins McEnroe as part of ESPN’s coverage of Wimbledon next week, just wants to see Murray celebrated by the home crowd on his first return to a singles match at SW19 for four years.

“He’s drawing inspiration from these other champions that are also middle or late 30s. Like Serena even. If they can do it, I can do it,” she said.

“What I see is a passionate man. He’s so passionate about his tennis. I saw the first match at Queen’s, he looked great. He was moving well. He was serving well. Everything looked good, pretty sharp, considering he hasn’t played at all. I don’t know what happened the second match.

“I think at this point, Wimbledon and the Brits should rejoice that he’s out there and celebrate that she’s still out there playing, giving his heart and soul to a game that he clearly and dearly loves.

“I mean, anything’s icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned with Andy Murray.”

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