Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rusedski Tips Andy to Bag a Grand This Year; Former British Star Is Backing Murray to Break His Majors Duck in 2009 and Overtake Federer in the World Rankings. by Chris Jones

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rusedski Tips Andy to Bag a Grand This Year; Former British Star Is Backing Murray to Break His Majors Duck in 2009 and Overtake Federer in the World Rankings. by Chris Jones

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

ANDY MURRAY, who today became the first British man to reach No3 in the world, has been tipped to become a Grand Slam champion by the end of the year.

Murray has 11 tour titles but Greg Rusedski, who like fellow British star Tim Henman made it to fourth in the rankings, thinks the Scot can break into the exclusive Grand Slam-winning club at either Wimbledon or the US Open.

Should Murray do that then he will strengthen his chances of overtaking the second-best player in the world, Roger Federer, who he now trails by 1180 points.

Rusedski said: "It is a wonderful achievement to reach No3 in the world.

"Tim and I managed to get to No4 and in my case, injury meant I couldn't try to get any higher and I don't think people really understand how difficult moving up just one place can be when you are already inside the top five.

"It is similar to someone who is No100 putting together a run of results and finally breaking into the top 20.

"That is the size of the leap in terms of work needed and success on court to ensure you move up just one place at the top of the game.

"Significantly, this also puts Andy one step nearer the No1 position Rafael Nadal holds and given Andy's consistency this year and the success he has enjoyed on court, I don't see any reason when he cannot finish the year in second place.

"To reach the top, Andy is going to have to win a Grand Slam title and that could come this year at Wimbledon or the US Open.

"I have no doubts that if Andy doesn't win that first Slam in 2009 it will come in the next two years and once he gets that debut title, more will come." Rusedski finished runner-up at the US Open in 1998 and Murray matched that achievement last season.

Despite losing a one-sided final to Federer, Murray did prove in New York he has the mental strength to go deep into a Slam tournament, beating Nadal in the semi-final.

The British No1's next bid for a Grand

Slam title comes at the French Open in a fortnight.

Unfortunately, clay is Murray's least favourite surface and despite reaching the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters last month he lost to qualifier Juan Monaco in his opening match in Rome a week later. …

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