John McEnroe believes that Andy Murray will be back among the world’s elite by the 2019 US Open in August — if he is close to full fitness when he makes his latest comeback next month.
The 31-year-old Scot is in Miami preparing for the Australian Open and McEnroe, in London to play at the Royal Albert Hall this week, suggests he can look to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for inspiration.
The great unknown is how Murray’s hip will hold up after his months spent at a rehab centre in Philadelphia.
‘He was able to be one of the best players of the last 10 years and winning majors by his athletic ability,’ said McEnroe. ‘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. Novak 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”.’
Kyle Edmund will start 2019 as British No 1 but he has to cope with defending a large points haul from reaching the semi-final of this year’s Australian Open.
‘I think it’s realistic 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,’ said McEnroe of Edmund. ‘He has to handle that emotionally, knowing there’s a full year ahead.’Daily Mail