‘It’s going the distance, but we would edge it’ – who would win if Murrays faced McEnroes?

Jamie Murray, Andy Murray, Patrick McEnroe, John McEnroe

It would be a showdown for the ages. A doubles match that crackles with intensity and drama. But who would win? The McEnroe brothers, at the top of their game, or the Murray brothers at their peak?

The grand-slam doubles winner Patrick McEnroe fancies the chances of him and a seven-time grand slam singles champion brother John taking down Andy and Jamie, but only after a fraught contest.

“Either way, it’s going the distance, whether we play with the old wood racquets or not,” the 53-year-old says.

“Both Murray brothers have amazing hands, so they could play with anything. My brother certainly could and he was arguably the greatest individual doubles player of all time.

“You’d have the calm guys – me and Jamie. I’m guessing John and Andy would probably go at it a little bit.

“There would some serious language and some serious intensity going on. It would also be a lot of fun and very competitive but I’m going to give the edge to the McEnroes – obviously – mostly because of my brother.”

Andy Murray graphic<!–

No conversation about tennis in Scotland can go very far without mentioning the Murray brothers, and McEnroe is clear that their rise is a greater achievement than many people acknowledge.

“It’s absolutely incredible that they did it from Scotland,” he said. “It’s an amazing country but it doesn’t have an amazing tennis history.

“Just getting them to be professionals would have been a huge accomplishment. So the fact that they went on to become world number one in both singles [Andy] and doubles [Jamie] is incredible.”

Andy Murray remains on the comeback trail from a second round of hip surgery, recently stating his intention to play in the rescheduled French Open come September should it go ahead.

The pause due to coronavirus – a bout of which McEnroe himself is recovering from – may just buy him some extra time to recover, but does the American think the Scot can recapture his best?

“I would say he could get close but I think it’s going to be difficult for him to get back to the level he was at, in other words, right there with [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic,” he said.

“I do think he could probably get back to the top 20 or top 15. When he came back and won that tournament indoors [the European Open in Antwerp in 2019] that was a great sign.

“So if he could get back and be in the mix, that would be awesome and we would love to see that in the tennis world.”

McEnroe worked with Leo Azevedo, the head coach of the new British Tennis academy in Stirling, in the USA and says the facility is “in good hands” with the Brazilian.

Delivered by Tennis Scotland, the programme at Stirling University is one of two centres set up by the Lawn Tennis Association.

“He’s an amazing person, an amazing mentor for young kids,” McEnroe said.

“He’s extremely passionate about tennis but I think even more so about helping and teaching children and helping them become great human beings.”

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