Andy Murray did not completely disagree with John McEnroe's comments about him being a 'distant fourth' among the big four which includes him, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but made it clear that it does not hold true in the last 12 months.
The Scot is currently the world's top ranked men's singles player and has won more tournaments than Federer, Nadal and Djokovic since his triumph at the Queen's Club last year. Murray won four tournaments in a row at the end of last season to take the top spot from Djokovic and despite struggling for form this season he has maintained his place at the top.
"He's always been top four, but it's been a distant fourth. In a way, he's still a distant fourth," McEnroe said, as quoted by the Metro.
Murray has been at the top of the world rankings for 32 weeks and is a long way off from Federer (302 weeks), Djokovic (223) and Nadal (141). Even on the Grand Slam front, the Scot, who has won just three titles, trails the trio who have a combined 45 major titles between them. The 31-year-old, who is preparing to defend his Aegon Championship title at the Queen's Club this week, admitted that he would swap careers with them for the records, but maintained that he has been superior in the past 12 months.
"I think for pretty much all of my career that would have been the case," Murray said responding to the American's comments, as quoted by the Guardian.
"I've always been behind them in the rankings. If you look at the titles and everything those guys have won, I can't compare myself to them. There's maybe one or two things I have done that they won't have but, for the most part, I would have been fourth. That's if you look at a whole career. But it's not true of the last year, because I'm ranked No1 in the world.
"I've been better than them for the last 12 months, that's how the ranking systems work. It took me a long time to get there. It's not true of the last year. But, in terms of the career as a whole, then I would, if I could, swap careers with those guys. I obviously would because they've won a lot more than me," the current world number one explained.