John McEnroe today tipped Andy Murray to match tennis's top guns in Paris – and shoot them down at Wimbledon.
The American was hugely impressed by Murray's form against all-conquering Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the Rome Masters.
And even though Murray lost in a thrilling clash – he scorned three match points – McEnroe is convinced the Scot has hauled himself out of the biggest form slump of his career.
Murray had gone into freefall since losing to Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open.
But, with five days to the start of the French Open at Roland Garros, tennis legend McEnroe reckons Murray's comeback is firmly on track. He said: "Last week Andy looked like he finally got back to where he was in Australia.
"To be able to do what he did in Rome and to serve for the match against Djokovic shows that at least he is back to where he belongs.
"Now the next step is to beat one of those top three guys and make a real run and get back to a final.
"It looked to me like he had his fire back and was playing considerably better than he did against Novak in the match in Australia.
"So if it doesn't help him for the French, it should help him for Wimbledon.''
Murray heads to Paris today to complete the final stages of his Roland Garros preparations, which will include an exhibition match tomorrow against the Frenchman Michael Llodra.
As he did in Madrid and Rome, the Scot will continue to work with Darren Cahill, the Australian whose services he is using on a part-time basis as part of the Adidas Player Development Programme.
It is a situation Murray initially described as not a long-term fix but McEnroe, for one, said he sees no reason why he should rush to find someone full-time.
He said: "I don't see this as something that is going deter him from winning."
Baltacha on the boil
Elena Baltacha is looking forward to her meeting with top seed Marion Bartoli in the second round of the Internationaux Strasbourg in France today.
The British No.1, who had taken the first set 6-3 against Magdalena Rybarikova before her first-round opponent retired, said: "I'm really excited about my next match. Marion is ranked 12 in the world, so it's going to be another test and another valuable preparation match before going over to the French Open next week.
"This has been a really good clay-court season so far and I'm definitely enjoying myself more than in the past."