World number one Andy Murray has finally responded to the criticism of tennis icon John McEnroe, who claims the Scot is miles away from the 'Big Three' of the modern era.
The 58-year-old legend said that Murray may be ranked higher than his peers at the present moment, but in terms of accolades and highest honours in the sport, he still is way behind the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.
The reigning Wimbledon champion takes the shrewd assessment of the veteran to his stride, yet, insisted that his rivals would 'love' to have his number one spot as well as the double gold.
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The Sun quoted the 30-year-old saying: "If you look at the titles and everything those guys have won, I can’t compare myself to them. There’s maybe one or two things I have done that they won’t have, but for the most part I would have been fourth.
"But I’ve been better than them for the last 12 months — that’s how rankings work."
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However, he admits he would gladly swap careers with the Swiss, Spanish, and Serbian aces in terms of matching their Grand Slam wins.
"But in terms of the career as a whole, if I could swap with those guys then I would because they’ve won a lot more than me."
Federer has a record 18 Grand Slams, while Nadal is placed second with 15 after his French Open win, and Djokovic 12.
Despite holding a higher rank, Murray is a stark contrast to them with only three Slams to his name.
But, one honour that neither of the top profile players mentioned can match is the Scot's impressive display at the Olympic Games.
Murray won gold medals for his nation in Beijing 2008 as well as London 2012 and only Nadal has one singles gold in the Olympic event while others have none.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I’m very proud of the Olympic medals. Everyone’s criteria for judging a player will be different," continued Murray.
"If it’s purely on Grand Slams, then my Olympic medals mean nothing to that person — but they mean a lot to me."
McEnroe, himself, has never played in an Olympics, choosing to miss tennis' return to the Games in 1988, despite winning seven Grand Slam titles.
The London-born star asserts that Federer has the better overall record compared to his rivals.
Currently starting his campaign for a sixth Aegon Championships title against British number four Aljaz Bedene at Queen's, Murray aims to prepare himself for the Wimbledon this summer.
"I would hope to still be playing at the next Olympics. I hope I stay at the top of the game for five, six, seven years.
"But I think just because Roger’s done it doesn’t mean that’s going to happen to everyone. Realistically, I want to make the most of the last few years of my career. If that’s two years, four years, or six years… doesn’t matter.
"If my body is good and I stay fit and healthy, I still enjoy the training, I enjoy the travelling, I love what I do, that’s not the issue. But you never know how you’re going to be in a couple of years."
Murray recently took the tennis world by storm by claiming that he sees himself playing at the highest level only for the next two years.
All eyes will be on him as he gears up to defend his title at Wimbledon in his hometown.
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