Murray hits back at McEnroe

Andy Murray has slammed John McEnroe's claim the world No. 1 should be seen as "a distant fourth" behind old rivals Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Murray begins his Wimbledon preparations this week as he defends his title in the grasscourt tournament at Queen's Club and American McEnroe may have given the Scot a little extra motivation with his criticism.

Although Wimbledon champion Murray remains top of the rankings, the 30-year-old has struggled this year, while Nadal and Federer have enjoyed unexpected revivals.

At Wimbledon, Federer will be hoping to clinch a 19th Grand Slam title, while Nadal and Djokovic are gunning for their 16th and 13th respectively.

McEnroe told The Sunday Times that Murray, who has won three Major titles, can't be ranked on the same level as his "Big Four" rivals.

But, while the Scot admits that rings true for their whole careers, he pointed to his record at the Olympics, where he has won two singles gold medals, as evidence to the contrary.

"For me, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I'm very proud of the Olympic medals, they mean a lot to me," Murray said.

"In tennis, a lot of people just go, 'Oh, that guy was a better player because he won more Grand Slams than that one or that woman was better because she won more Grand Slams'.

"If that's the case, then what is the point in all of us being here today?

"Why is everyone here covering this event? There are other tournaments outside the Slams as well.

"If you look at the titles and everything those guys have won, I can't compare myself to them.

"But it's not true of the last year because I'm ranked No. 1 in the world.

"I've been better than them for the last 12 months, that's how the ranking system work." - AFP

TennisANDY MURRAYsports