Murray one of the greatest of all time – Wilander
Mats Wilander believes Andy Murray should be considered as one of the greatest tennis players of all time after inspiring Great Britain’s first Davis Cup win since 1936.
Murray defeated David Goffin 6-3 7-5 6-3 last Sunday to seal a 3-1 victory over Belgium, having already overcome Ruben Bemelmans in his first singles match and joined brother Jamie in doubles success.
And former world number one and seven-time grand-slam champion Mats Wilander says his influential role in claiming the title should ensure him a place in tennis history.
Speaking to Omnisport at the Champions Tennis tournament at the Royal Albert Hall, Wilander said: “Obviously he hasn’t had to beat someone who’s ranked higher than him, but still, to take that responsibility on – and it’s not just winning, it’s the whole week – to be the leader of the team, [that’s] huge.
“To me, suddenly that qualifies him to be one of the great players of all time.
“Andy Murray’s already done what is needed for British tennis, which is ignite it. There’s a person, there’s a player that kids want to be like.
“Great Britain has a Davis Cup winner – it’s going to take tennis to a part of the country, or the whole island, where Andy Murray can’t take tennis.”
Henri Leconte, who lost to Wilander in the 1988 French Open, thinks lifting the trophy could propel Murray to more glory in 2016.
“It was a great achievement from Andy and he really deserved it. He was really keen to win the Davis Cup and the way he did it was very impressive. Very focused, very strong and I was very impressed,” he said.
“I hope that it’s going to help him for next year, because if you look back Novak Djokovic won the Davis Cup against [France] and then had a fantastic year afterwards.
“Roger Federer beat us again in France and after he had a great year, so we hope Murray will be able to do the same and win one or two grand slams because he really deserves it.”
Murray’s ability to cope with the change in pressure the Davis Cup also drew praise from James Blake.
“What Andy did this year in the Davis Cup is incredible. The pressure is so different because you’re not just playing your match, when you watch the others you are living and dying by every point so the emotional output is so drastically greater than when you’re playing on the tour,” said the American.