JOHN McEnroe has told Roger Federer that winning his third grand slam of the year at this fortnight’s US Open to return to World No.1 would round off of the sporting stories of this or any century. 

However, speaking on behalf of ESPN.co.uk, the US tennis legend claimed that Andy Murray is in there with Rafa Nadal as one of the few players who could deny him – assuming the Scot can continue to manage the hip problems which have seen him skip all competitive action since his quarter final Wimbledon defeat to Sam Querrey. 

“We don’t know the answer to that [how the Scot’s hip is],” said McEnroe.

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“We are all wondering the same question. Is it going to help him? Mentally, maybe. Is it going to hurt him physically? Maybe. The fact that he rested his hip, is that good? Probably. The fact that he didn’t play any matches, probably not the best thing. But Roger didn’t play for six months, so he’s obviously banking on something along those lines. But from what I understand, I’m not even sure he’s 100 percent healthy yet, and he may have something needed to be done after the tournament

“At the moment we are assuming Roger is going to pull the rabbit out of the hat again. And if Roger wins this, this will be one of the great stories in the last 50 years. Or ever.  

"He should be Sports Illustrated athlete of the year already, whether he wins or not. But if he does, it will be a shoe in. He won three five setters in Australia. He played Wimbledon without losing a single set. I saw him today and said ‘this is absolutely just hats off.’ I’ve watched tennis for 40, 50 years. I’ve never seen anything like this.”