BBC commentator John McEnroe picks his five players to watch at Wimbledon 2017
I think it was pretty clear from the first couple of months that the amount of effort Andy Murray had put in to reach number one had taken its toll.
I would have been surprised if it hadn’t caught up with Murray eventually. It was a natural reaction: not even he thought he’d end up number one ahead of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was an amazing accomplishment, so for a while at the start of this season he’s had to regroup.
He’s had some issues physically too, but he’s worked so hard on his fitness over the years that when it comes to the Majors he’s so hard to beat in the longer matches. Since the French Open he seems far more settled and confident.
Murray has one extra advantage at Wimbledon: he can live at home. The Major I won the most was the US Open when I could stay at home. During the French Open by contrast, I had to spend a significant amount of time in Europe beforehand. Going straight into Wimbledon, it ended up being 10 weeks away from home, which is pretty tough to do.
Murray’s under more pressure than any player I’ve ever seen at Wimbledon, handling the expectations of the home crowd. Everything is overanalysed and nitpicked – he could use any advantages he can get!
Novak Djokovic’s collapse at the French Open, losing 6-0 in the final set, was inexplicable. Given the way he has competed over the past six or seven years, I can’t recall a time where he’s dropped that badly. He just didn’t want to be on the court anymore. It doesn’t mean he’ll be the same in Wimbledon, but what it does do is establish Murray firmly as number one right now.
Roger Federer winning the Australian Open again at 35 was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in tennis; after that, there’s no way you can write him off. He plans his whole season to peak at Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal is looking pretty fearsome right now after winning the French Open. He’s had a couple of weeks to rest, and now he can blow into Wimbledon with way more confidence than he’s had in the past few years.
Nick Kyrgios is the type of guy to watch this year. Mentally, he feels closer than ever to be in with a championship shot – it wouldn’t be out of the blue if he were to upset the odds. He’s one of a number of guys who could step up.