Paris, June 6: Former Tennis star John McEnroe has backed Andy Murray to reach the latter stages of the French Open and also backed the Briton to win the title in Paris ahead of favourites Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Murray looked every inch like the world No 1 in a 6-3 6-4 6-4 disposal of 21-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov, whose time for glory may come one day but not in Paris this year.
Murray, 30, said: “It was probably the best I have played overall. Each match I feel like I played better. I have hit the ball cleaner and started to see the right shots at the right moments. I’ve come a long way the last ten days or so.
“Everything is going pretty well just now. I’m feeling good going into the middle part of the second week.”
Murray’s excellent outing had certainly impressed Tennis great McEnroe who stated that if the draw could fall nicely for him to collect his fourth grand slam trophy on Sunday.
Murray is drawn to face Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals, but if he wins that he could be facing a tired opponent in the battle for the Coupe de Mousquetaires.
“I think Andy’s been great,” McEnroe said. “I don’t think he was as far away as people were saying. It’s a lot of attitudes. He’s tougher to beat in the Slams.
"The draw looked fairly tough in the beginning but now you would have to say you would be somewhat surprised if he didn’t get at least to the semis, if not the final.
“The top four guys will probably be in the semi-finals - it’s certainly nice to see Rafa back: these conditions, balls kicking up pretty high, it’s pretty rough out there.
“But something tells me that it is not a foregone conclusion. I’d be very interested to see Novak play him and if he got through that, or Novak, it would be interesting to see the final because a lot of effort would be put out by whoever wins that match.”
That said, Djokovic has not been in the best of form, but McEnroe feels a quarter-final against Dominic Thiem could hone him perfectly for the semis.
“Thiem will be a good test, but I think Novak’s getting there,” he added. “They’re all getting there at the right moment.”