Seven-time Grand Slam champion hails ‘legendary’ Andy Murray
Andy Murray has been lauded with praise after his comeback victory against Thanasi Kokkinakis, and former world No.1 John McEnroe was full of superlatives for the Brit.
McEnroe is a tennis expert for the first Grand Slam of the year, which is which is live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport, and said Murray made him proud to be a tennis player.
“Murray, we knew he had a heart of a champion, that goes without saying, but that’s him digging deeper than I’ve ever seen him, with everything he’s been through.”, said McEnroe.
“It makes me personally, as an ex-player, proud to look at these tennis players – Andy, in particular. Kokkinakis, you feel for him, but it’s one of those moments where you feel proud of your sport and you see guys giving 110% for five-and-a-half hours.”
Andy Murray was down, 4-6 6-7 2-5, before coming back to win the match in five sets, in just under six hours. This was Murray’s record 11th five-set victory, when coming from two sets down, with his first dating back to a 2006 Davis Cup win over Andy Ram
McEnroe, who reached the Australian Open semi-final in 1983, says that he believes Murray deserves more respect and has been overshadowed by ‘the big three’.
“I would say to Andy Murray that you make our sport shine. The never give up, never say die mottos that you hear, the clichés, you would send them his way right now because this is about the love of the sport more than anything else.”
McEnroe continued, “This guy is one of the great players of our era that is not talked about because of what the other three top guys [Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic] have accomplished, but he’s a legendary player and I think that these type of matches cement his reputation even though the likelihood of recovery is not high.”
The match finished at 4:05am, and that was a big talking point, with McEnroe suggesting that it could hamper Murray’s progress in the Australian Open.
“For starters, it was insane that matches at that level are played at that time in the morning.”
McEnroe added: “While on the one hand it is historic, you also worry about the consequences down the road. There’s recovery; when could you even possibly think about going to sleep? How do you even look at the next opponent?”
“Those are things for tomorrow and you hope that in some way there could be some type of level of recovery but just enjoy the moment – you put a smile on everybody’s face. It was one of the most insane things I’ve seen in all my years watching tennis.”
Murray’s third round match is on Saturday, where he will play No.25 Roberto Bautista Agut on the Margaret Court Arena. The three-time Grand Slam champion has a negative head-to-head against the Spaniard, and has not beaten him since 2016.
However, McEnroe was optimistic that the Brit could make it a competitive match, “I would hope he can enjoy the moment and hope that he can rebound to some extent.”
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