Tennis legend Pete Sampras has backed Andy Murray to return to action and compete for majors, labelling him “one of the best in the world”.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner, speaking to The Independent, was effusive in his praise for the Scot, expecting Murray’s extended break to be beneficial in the long-run.
The world number 3 took the decision to recover after withdrawing from the US Open. Murray said it was “most likely” he would miss the rest of 2017, joining Novak Djokovic.
“I think if you take that much time off, they’re going to be very eager and determined [to succeed],” the Sampras told The Independent. “I’m sure Novak and Andy are going to be right in the mix next year and compete for majors.”
The only thing stopping Murray is injuries according to the 46-year-old American.
“Can he be the same force as he was before? Without a doubt,” Sampras said. “I don’t see anything stopping Andy from a tennis-playing standpoint. He’s one of the best in the world.
“It’s just a matter of playing well at the right time. The only thing that can hold him back is injuries, because he does rely so much on his movement. Once you can’t move and grind out the matches like he can, it’s tough for him. It’s tough for anybody.
“But as soon as Andy gets back playing, he will compete for all the majors and be right in the thick of things. I just hope he recovers and gets back to being 100 per cent.”