IT is unflattering to consider Andy Murray the Ringo Starr figure when it comes to the fab four of men’s tennis – even if he always was a great drummer. But what is undeniable is the capacity of other members of the band to continue churning out hit after hit in his absence.

While the Scot simply seemed delighted yesterday to take his place, pain-free, in the draw for the men’s doubles at Wimbledon after hip resurfacing in January, the holy trinity of men’s tennis were in SW19 for the serious business of securing yet another singles Grand Slam title to add to their collection.

Sometimes numbers become so vast they start to lose all meaning – like the fact Westlife’s 14 UK No.1s at one point were closing in on the Beatles’ 17. It has become this way at the top of men’s tennis too, where three men – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal – have shared out 53 major titles between them.

Take out Murray’s singles wins at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 and you have to go right back to Lleyton Hewitt’s triumph in 2002 for any other name on the victory roll. No wonder Tim Henman was struggling to find a reference point for this kind of monopoly anywhere else in sport.

It isn’t just love of the game which drives Federer on at the age of 37; it is the fact he can see two of his greatest rivals in his rear-view mirror. Amazingly, his record of 20 major titles seem precarious when Rafa has 18 and Djokovic 15.

“Roger has never been safe on that count,” said Henman recently. “He’s never been safe just because of the nature of Rafa. I mean, between the three of them, Rafa, Roger and Djokovic, they have won 53 Slams between them. Fifty. Three. That’s just not possible. You can’t comprehend that across any sport, golf or whatever.

“We’ve had dominant pairs, guys like [Boris] Becker and [Stefan] Edberg, [Jimmy] Connors and [John] McEnroe, [Andre] Agassi and [Pete] Sampras, but to have the three most successful

Grand Slam winners all in one era.

“You would have thought Federer would be the first to retire out of that trio. The others have got four, five years on him, although with Rafa’s body, you never know. But there are some great stories still to be told by that three.”

As for their chances of making it title No 54 this weekend, Henman can’t see past one of this group, although he doesn’t agree with the formula used by the All-England club that lists Federer No 2 and Nadal three.

That is a fact which has drawn the ire of the Mallorcan, who finds himself in the same half of the draw as Federer. If both reach the semi-finals, whoever comes out on top in that battle, may have had to extend themselves rather more than Djokovic, should he be waiting them in the final.

It isn’t all plain sailing for the reigning champion. He faces a tricky opener against Philipp Kohlschreiber and potentially a pair of big clashes with the fast-rising Felix-Auger Aliassime of Canada and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

Henman certainly isn’t ruling out a first Wimbledon title since 2010 for Nadal.

“I was reading about it just recently – and Rafa made five finals in a row, only missing out one year when he was injured. And he’s won it twice. Absolutely he’s a favourite. If I had to put them in order, I would still give the edge to Djokovic, given his form in the last year of Slams. But I would put Nadal a close second and Federer a close third. Will the winner come from those three? It would be a brave person to bet against it.

“Rafa’s match against Djokovic last year was as good, maybe, as any match ever seen at Wimbledon. And you look at the matches he has lost there over the years. At least five of his losses were just incredible, incredible matches – some of the best I’ve ever seen. But they’ve come from random people. Dustin Brown. Steve Darcis, Nick Kyrgios, Gilles Muller, Lukas Rosol … and they’ve been unbelievable matches. So it has taken an exceptional performance to beat Rafa every time.

“I think Rafa’s a classic example of someone who doesn’t beat himself. To beat him, you have to play astonishing tennis. So, as long as he’s made the transition from clay to grass, which can be a little bit dicey with his knees, he’s got a good chance.”

Elsewhere in the first round, Kyle Edmund will play Jaume Munar of Spain and Cam Norrie takes on Denis Istomin, while Murray and his partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France have landed Romania’s Marius Copil and France’s Ugo Humpert in the men’s double, which begins on Wednesday. There is a potential showdown with brother Jamie and Neil Skupski as early as the third round.

The big story in the women’s draw is Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old from the USA who is the youngest qualifier in the open era, paired with five-times champion Venus Williams, age 39.

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty takes on Saisai Zheng of China, Serena Williams starts against Italy’s Giulia Gatto-Monticone, while home hope Johanna Konta begins against Rom-anian qualifier Ana Bogdan.