• US Open

McEnroe: Everyone will be after Murray's blood

ESPN staff
August 20, 2013
John McEnroe says Andy Murray can end the year as the world's best player © AP

John McEnroe believes Andy Murray will be "hunted" more by his opponents as he prepares to defend his US Open title, but says the Brit is well within reach of topping the world rankings.

Murray enjoyed his second career grand slam victory at Wimbledon in July, but has failed to make it beyond the quarter-final stage in two hard court tournaments since his SW19 win.

The 26-year-old lost in the second round at the Rogers Cup before bowing out to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

However, McEnroe believes Murray will experience greater pressure on his return to Flushing Meadows, where he defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2012 final to claim his maiden grand slam title.

"On the one hand he's done it, so that's amazing," McEnroe said. "On the other hand, you're the hunted more than you were in the past.

"This is the first shot where Murray's got a legitimate chance to finish number one and be number one for the year if he can get two majors.

"So that's a different type of approach and people are going to be gunning for him even more. I think he's found that a little bit since playing Wimbledon."

Three different players have won grand slams this season; Djokovic defeated Murray in the final of the Australian Open, while Rafael Nadal picked up a record eighth French Open title in Paris.

Murray finally ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's champion at Wimbledon, and McEnroe has stated all three will be inspired to add the US crown to their respective hauls.

"There's three different guys, obviously Rafa [Nadal], Novak [Djokovic] and Andy [Murray], that have won the three majors," McEnroe said. "All three of them feel that if they win the US Open - I think - that they're going to deserve to be called number one for the year."

The US Open begins on Monday.

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