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Second title easier for Murray - McEnroe

ESPN staff
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Andy Murray has endured a torrid time with injury since lifting the Wimbledon title last year © Getty Images
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Andy Murray will find it easier to win the Wimbledon title a second time having lifted the trophy last year, according to John McEnroe.

The three-time former champion said that Murray, who been seeded third at this year's tournament, will be free from the pressure that has previously dogged him at SW19 as he walks out on Centre Court for the opening match of his title defence.

Mauresmo appointment is bold move

Mauresmo will coach Murray at Wimbledon © Getty Images
  • Former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe has praised Andy Murray for the "bold" move in appointing Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach. Mauresmo takes over from the maverick Ivan Lendl and McEnroe believes Murray has made another clever decision by appointing a woman to lead his team.

    "Initially when [Murray] hired Ivan, I was taken aback," McEnroe said. "The more I thought about it, the more I thought that actually it would work. It turned out it did. When I was hearing the possibilities of who Andy was going to hire, I was hoping he'd do something out of the ordinary ... and he's certainly accomplished that."

"It is going to be amazing for Andy," McEnroe said. "There is always a feeling of immense accomplishment.

"Superiority is not quite the right word, but you do feel the tradition of coming out at that time. It's different to other events. You have that brief moment of euphoria and then you start to go through the whole idea of possibly winning again.

"You think of Centre Court and talk yourself into the fact that you have the advantage because you are the guy who knows how to play on it.

"No one has played on the court for a year, it is the best possible scenario, you come out feeling like a man. I love the fact that the champion knows what time he is going to start on the Monday, first match. It's something other tournaments ought to duplicate, there's nothing quite like it."

While he backed Murray to fend off challenges from Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, McEnroe admitted the defending champion was under a different type of pressure this year.

"There's no one that's been under more pressure to win a major event than Murray." McEnroe explained. "The fact that he's done it takes a lot of pressure off him. That should be understood.

"Any time you taste what it feels like to win it once, you obviously want to win it again. So there's an element of pressure you put on yourself for starters because you want to see what that feels like at least one more time.

Murray seeded No.3

  • Andy Murray cannot face Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer until the semi-final stage at Wimbledon after the defending champion was named No.3 for SW19.
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"From that standpoint he's going to be feeling pressure. Now people know he can do it, they're going to think he should do it again."

And McEnroe, who won Wimbledon titles in 1981, '83 and '84, cautioned that Murray has not had an ideal build-up to The Championships after appointing a new coach and crashing out of Queen's last week.

"You throw in this new coaching thing, that makes it a little bit hard to get your groove quickly. He only won one match in Queen's. He lost early. So this is sort of an X factor," McEnroe said.

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