Wimbledon 2013 men's champion Andy Murray has said that heavyweights such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal cannot be written off, amid talk of Novak Djokovic being the clear favourite to retain the Wimbledon crown.
The Scot, who became the first British player to win the Wimbledon men's title since 1936, when he lifted the trophy in 2013, faces 27-year-old Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round of the Grand Slam, which gets underway on 29 June.
The hometown favourite faces a tricky assignment in the Wimbledon this year, as he could possibly be pitted against big names such as Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last 16, King of Clay Nadal or David Ferrer of Spain in the quarters and then seven-time Wimbledon Champion Federer in the semis.
If the 28-year-old lanky tennis player gets through these opponents, he will have an opportunity to go head-to-head with the World No. 1 and defending Champion Djokovic.
Murray, seeded third in the tournament, behind Djokovic and Federer, has had a good year so far, as he has already been a finalist at the Australian Open and reached the semi-finals of the French Open this year.
The Brit also had a decent pre-Wimbledon warm up, as he went on to win his fourth Aegon Championship title at the Queen's Club in London recently.
"At different stages, people wanted to write us [Federer, Nadal, himself] off, apart from Novak – he hasn't really had any injuries or dips in form," Murray told The Guardian on the big names, apart from Djokovic, not deemed hot favourites for the Grand Slam.
"Roger for a while [did], like the year he lost to Stakhovsky at Wimbledon, and when the US Open was over for him as well.
"Rafa, just now, a lot of people are saying he isn't the same and he is not going to come back. I had the same thing last year as well," he said.
Murray also went on to say there are a lot of young crop who have stepped up their level and could be dark horses to challenge contenders for the Wimbledon crown. For instance, Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated Djokovic in the French Open 2015 final.
"There are more guys who can win now, for sure. It's definitely a lot more open than what it was. But I don't think that any one of the guys you mention are close to being done at the top level though. But guys catch up.
"Stan winning in the final was a huge upset but also showed in those matches that Novak can be beaten. Granted, Stan played an incredible match, but it can be done," Murray said.