Andy Murray must prove he has what it takes to win Grand Slam against Rafa Nadal
Murray will get another opportunity to beat a top 10 player when he faces Rafa Nadal on Friday – something he has not done since winning Wimbledon
John McEnroe says Andy Murray’s semi-final clash with Rafa Nadal on Friday will prove if the Wimbledon champion is back as a genuine Grand Slam contender.
The British No.1 has reached the last four at a Major for the first time since his Wimbledon triumph last year by coming through five-set thrillers against Philipp Kohlschreiber and Gael Monfils.
But the world No.8 has yet to beat a top 10 player since ending Britain’s 77-year wait for the title last July – and has lost his three matches against other members of the Big Four.
He has also had to contend with back surgery and splitting with coach Ivan Lendl since his second Grand Slam title.
Murray faces the massive mission of ending the Spanish King of Clay’s long reign at Roland Garros.
The world No.1 has won eight French Open titles while only ever losing one match here and is on a 33-match unbeaten run at the clay-court Major. And the Wimbledon winner will need to be at his consistent best to cause a big shock and oust the French Open’s defending champion.
BBC pundit McEnroe said: “Murray showed that against Philipp Kohlschreiber towards the end, but that’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
“And mentally he has shown over the course of his career that he’s more disciplined and tougher than Monfils.
“That’s not Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. Now against Nadal in the semis, it is: ‘Let’s see how far he’s going to go here’.”
But the Scot said: “The hunger is there – that’s not something I have to worry about.
“I believe 100 per cent I can beat Rafa and Novak but on this surface it’s harder for me than other courts because it’s not my best surface and they are two of the greatest clay court players in my opinion.”
Maria Sharapova reached her third consecutive French Open final after a 4-6 7-5 6-2 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard.
New world No.3 Simona Halep will face Sharapova in her first Slam final after beating Andrea Petkovic 6-2 7-6.
“It’s incredible to be in the final,” said Halep.