Former British number one Greg Rusedski has rubbished the rumours that John McEnroe is set to be announced as Andy Murray’s new coach, branding them as "ridiculous".
The 1997 US Open runner-up thinks that it will be a difficult process for Murray to find the ideal replacement for Czech Ivan Lendl, who parted company with the Wimbledon champion in March.
Murray has been playing without a coach since then, though he revealed on Friday that he had an exact idea of who he wanted the new coach to be, without revealing any names, and the new coach will not be announced until after he has participated in the French Open.
John McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam winner and now TV pundit, has been linked with the role, but Rusedski does not see that as a realistic possibility.
The former world number four told British Eurosport: “The headlines about McEnroe are ridiculous and are more of a publicity thing because McEnroe is not giving up his TV work and has other commitments.”
Lendl helped guide Murray to two Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in a partnership that lasted for over two years, and it was believed that his own experience of winning eight Grand Slams helped him give Murray the correct mental approach going into the most important matches.
The approach of working with a highly successful former player is one that has been taken by world number two Novak Djokovic and Swiss Roger Federer recently, who have been working with multiple Grand Slam winners Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg respectively this year.
Rusedski does not see an ideal replacement that is currently on the market, and thinks it will be very hard for the 27-year-old to find the right man for the job.
"Who are you going to find that is going to be able to give you what Ivan did? The job is going to be a two-year project because, for Andy to be consistently back where he was, it will be a very hard road to follow.
“It’s about finding the right person who could add more. It’s going to be very difficult to find a replacement that will add value. The team around him - Matt Little, Jez Green and Danny Vallverdu - are good enough for now, but it’s a difficult ask to find that extra Midas touch that Ivan added over the last few years.”
He went on to say that he does not see Murray having a realistic chance of winning a third Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, and that his aim should be to reach the quarter-final stage, citing a difficult draw as one of the reasons why he unlikely to become the first British man to win the tournament this year.
“From the third round onwards it is as hard as nails. In my opinion a successful tournament for Andy would be playing in the right way. I think for Andy a realistic goal would be to get to the quarter-finals.
“I don’t think that’s unreasonable and he might even surprise us all if he stays healthy and doesn’t put expectation on himself.
“But he has a difficult draw from the third round all the way through so it depends how efficient he is in those rounds before he most likely meets Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.”
Murray is seeded seventh for the tournament and will face Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan in the opening round in Paris, as he tries to rediscover the form that helped him become US Open champion in 2012 and Wimbledon champion in 2013.
His world ranking has slipped from second to eighth in that time, as he has struggled to fully recover from back surgery that forced him to miss the end of the 2013 season.
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