Former world number one Pete Sampras believes Andy Murray is “on the verge” of his first grand slam triumph and becoming a truly dominant force in tennis, so long as the Briton learns to successfully manage his injury problems.
Murray has been out of action since taking part in Britain's Davis Cup loss to Poland in Liverpool last month while carrying a wrist injury he sustained in his disappointing run at the US Open.
Consequently the 22-year-old Scot has dropped from second to fourth in the world rankings with Novak Djokovic, who won the China Open earlier this month, climbing to third behind world number one Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Murray has had arguably his best year on to date, winning five titles — taking his career total to 13 — while becoming the first Briton to be ranked second in the world.
And Sampras, who won his first grand slam at the age of 19 and finished with 14 in all, believes Murray's first major victory will not be far off— with January's Australian Open a possibility.
“He plays a game that takes a lot of work on the body and I know he works hard off the court but I think if he is smart with his injuries and recovers and doesn't play and make them worse, he will be fine,” he said.
“When it comes down to next year in Australia he will be fit and ready to go.
“Obviously he is trying to win his first major and he has come pretty close this year and he can taste it.
“He is in a fishbowl in the UK with all the expectations and pressure, it is not easy to deal with but he is a great player and he is on the verge of really being a dominant player.