John McEnroe believes that Andy Murray will return to the world elite by the US Open 2019 – provided he is close to full fitness when he makes his last return next month.
The 31-year-old Scottish is currently in Miami in preparation for the Australian Open and McEnroe, in London to play at the Royal Albert Hall this week, suggests he can look to the longevity of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as inspiration.
It all naturally depends on the great unknown, which is how Murray's hip will resist if subjected to the rigors of competition in full competition after his months in a rehab center in Philadelphia.
John McEnroe says that Andy Murray will be back among the best in 2019 of the US Open
American legend believes that Murray can do it as long as it is close to full physical fitness
"He was able to be one of the best players in the last 10 years and win the majors for his athletic ability," said McEnroe.
"If it's 100% or close to it, I'd expect it would be in the top 10 within six or nine months. But if it's 80 percent, it's a totally different person.
"Looking at what Federer did at 36, looking at Nadal Djokovic was suddenly old Djokovic this year, so I'm sure he looks at those guys and thinks," I should be able to do something like this. "
It is Kyle Edmund who begins the year as a British maiden n. 1, but will have to face the situation to defend a big advantage from the Grand Slam of this year, when he reached the semi-finals.
The 31-year-old can look to Roger Federer's longevity (pictured) for inspiration
"I think it's realistic that it will be in the top 10, but it will soon feel the pressure in the season and its ranking will come out of the top 20 if it does not go well there," McEnroe said. "He has to deal with it emotionally, knowing that a whole year is waiting for us".
The American legend hopes that last month Alex Zverev has shocked Djokovic in the ATP finals and that in the end it will reveal a challenge supported by the new generations in men's tennis.
"I believe there are three to five guys who have the necessary tools, many of which are belief and physical fitness to go to that level to go deep.
& # 39; e & # 39; a little late, and I hope we'll see a couple of new guys win Majors, like (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, (Karen) Khachanov, Zverev and Borna Coric, but no one has stepped up yet.
He hopes that Alex Zverev's victory over Djokovic will mark a challenge for the new generations
Nick Kyrgios is not included in that list, and there is also the fear that it can not last too long in the game.
"He has to embrace what he is doing to live, become a professional on and off the pitch because he is a good guy and people like him." Perhaps among all the players of the last 10 years in pure tennis, he could be the best.
"But half the time it does not compete – how can you win a big event in the world if you're not competing half the time? If he does not pass it, he will not play tennis in a couple of years. "
John McEnroe will appear at the Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall on 6 and 7 December. Tickets a www.championstennis.co.uk