The former British number one hopes he’ll be once again proven wrong, but believes that the gap between winning ATP Tour events and Grand Slam victories will prove a step too far for Andy after suffering multiple injury setbacks.
Murray underwent hip re-surfacing surgery in late January last year, just weeks after his tearful press conference at the Australian Open announcing he could possibly be retiring due to the severe pain he’d been struggling with:
He resumed playing doubles in June before returning to singles action two months later.
Unsurprisingly, the 32-year-old did not compete at the US Open – instead focusing on two smaller events that were happening simultaneously.
However in October, he won the European Open in Antwerp, beating fellow three-time Slam winner Stan Wawrinka during a thrilling three-set final.
Selected as part of GB’s Fed Cup team for the first time in three years, another injury – a pelvic problem near the area of his surgery – forced him to withdraw after just one rubber on route to their semi-final finish.
He hadn’t played a competitive match in 2020 before last month’s suspension and while the coronavirus pandemic allows him an opportunity to get himself 100% for when tennis resumes, not everyone is optimistic about his future.
Rusedski believes it will be tough for Murray to regain his former place in the so-called big four of men’s tennis alongside Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: all of whom have dominated in Slams for more than a decade.
When asked about the break of play, the 46-year-old told Sky Sports: “The good news for him is that he’s had more of a rest at this point. Hopefully his body comes back, but to challenge week in week out with Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas is going to be hard.
“Can he win matches? Can he possibly win a Tour event? Yes, he can do so. But to win Slams, that’s three out of five sets, seven matches, that’s a little bit difficult. It’s possible he can get to a quarter-final, fourth round… but to go all the way with the surgeries he’s had, that’s a big ask.
“But I hope he proves me wrong, like he’s done on several occasions.”
Murray is currently ranked world no. 129, three ranking points and a place behind Juan Martin del Potro – another talented player hampered by injury during his career.
Many didn’t believe Andy could return to the sort of levels that saw him propel into world no.1.
But beating the likes of talented hotshot Ugo Humbert (world no.42, 21-years-old) and Wawrinka in quick succession was impressive last year, even if during a three-set match format.
Rusedski’s comments will certainly serve as welcome motivation for the Scot to silence his critics once sport does resume, though he said tennis will be one of the last to return earlier this week.