On the favourites for the French Open…
You have to put [Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray] as the two main threats together with Rafa Nadal for the French Open. I don’t care that Nadal hasn’t played great… he’s played a good clay-court season and a good match against Novak Djokovic in Rome – a close two-setter – so the confidence he has at the French Open, and the fact it is five sets, means he’ll be tough to beat.
Nadal: I can't remember ever playing without pain
Andy Murray of Britain v Rafael Nadal of Spain - Madrid, Spain, 2016
Image credit: Reuters
On the preparation you need for Roland Garros…
I won the French Open three times and in those years I didn’t win a clay-court tournament leading up to the event. So in many ways, I think you need to be fresh, and come in with confidence. But once you have won the French Open you have confidence. So Nadal will come in with a lot of that. Obviously he comes in with two titles [this season] but Djokovic comes in with pressure because he needs to win the French Open to become one of the greatest of all time.
On Novak Djokovic’s chances of winning all four majors this year…
I think he will win the "Golden Slam" [all four majors and the Olympics]. I was a very close spectator of Steffi Graf when she did it in 1988, that was my best year, and I think it’s unbelievable that she did it then but I think Novak can and most probably should win all five.
On Andy Murray’s chances in Paris…
I think Murray – he’s done so many things. Can he ever win Wimbledon? He did that. Can he ever win a Grand Slam? He did that at the US Open in 2012. He won the Olympics at home and has won the Davis Cup now. There’s no reason why Andy Murray shouldn’t be able to win the French Open. I think five sets favour him. Although we know how hard a time he’s had against Djokovic lately in three-out-of-five finals.
Great Britain's Andy Murray
Image credit: AFP
On stars of the future…
I think Nick Kyrgios is obviously one of the big stars. I think he’s proven in the last few weeks that he is the real deal and has played some brilliant tennis on clay. I think Kei Nishikori is playing better and better and getting closer to the best players in the world. And then you have some outisders like Dominic Thiem, the Austrian, who is very dangerous on clay and five sets would probably favour him as well. You also wonder what has happened to wonder what’s happening to Stan Wawrinka and what’s happening to him when it comes to the French because he is defending [the title] and is a very good clay court player.
'I blew it, I messed up' - Murray on defeat to Rublev in Rotterdam
Highlights: Murray comes up short against Rublev in Rotterdam