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Rusedski mocks ‘McEnroe will coach Murray’ rumours

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EXCLUSIVE! Former world number four Greg Rusedski has blasted rumours that Andy Murray will appoint John McEnroe as his new coach as “ridiculous”.

British number one Murray is without a big-name coach after parting ways with Ivan Lendl in March.

The Czech former Grand Slam winner helped the Briton to his first Major triumphs, at the US Open and Wimbledon, but following back surgery the two decided to end their arrangement.

Murray has been coachless since, and says he has already decided on his new trainer – but will wait until after the upcoming French Open to announce the name.

Former world number one McEnroe has been linked with the role, but Rusedski believes it is a major red herring.

“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,” Rusedski told British Eurosport.

“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.”

Murray, who is seeded seventh in Paris following his lengthy spell recovering fitness and form after back surgery, faces Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev and has a generally difficult draw at Roland Garros, with Rafael Nadal the predicted semi-final opponent should the Scot get that far.

Rusedski feels Murray would do well to even reach the quarters on his least-favoured surface of clay.

“The draw looks pretty tough. The first round will be a little bit more difficult than the second I would say and from then on in it starts to get really difficult because (Phillip) Kohlschreiber beat (Novak) Djokovic at the French Open a few years back and then after that it’s probably going to be (Richard) Gasquet, which is always going to be difficult with the French support behind him.

“So 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.”

Even from the first day Murray faces a challenge in Golubev, who Rusedksi feels is a danger on the red dirt.

“It’s going to be quite a tricky opener because Golubev has been playing pretty well on the clay courts even though he prefers indoor hard courts. His big shots are his serve and forehand.

“If Murray plays like he did in Rome against Rafa then I expect him to come through in straight sets but he has to be playing pretty well. If he’s not as sharp as that match then it will probably be a four set win for Murray but he’s going to need to be on his game.”

Greg is an analyst for British Eurosport’s French Open coverage, from May 25 to the final on June 8. There will be full, live multi-court coverage, also available online and on mobile via Eurosport Player www.eurosportplayer.com

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