"The level of tennis then and today is not at all comparable": Former coach of Novak Djokovic shades Jimmy Connors' all-tlme record as 'not important''

Thursday, 30 November 2023 at 00:40
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Nikola Pilic, former coach of Novak Djokovic, played down the significance of Jimmy Connors' title record.
Connors, an iconic figure in tennis, boasts several major records in the sport's history. As an 8-times Grand Slam champion, the former American tennis player is remembered for holding the world No. 1 ranking from 1974 to 1978, establishing himself as the most successful player in the early years of the Open Era.
Among Jimmy Connors' records is the one Djokovic has a chance to surpass – Connors' 109 singles titles. This achievement has yet to be equaled, with Roger Federer following closely at 103 titles and Novak Djokovic trailing with 98.
Nikola Pilic, Djokovic's former coach, shared his perspective on Connors' record, downplaying its significance in comparison to the remarkable achievements of 'Nole.'
“I know Connors and beat him once in Philly, but he’s won 90% of his titles in the 250 series in America. The level of tennis then and today is not at all comparable. Tennis is much different, times have changed, but what speaks volumes is that Novak is the best in all six categories that count, and that’s what you see, the numbers say it all,"
The former Serbian Davis Cup captain, who guided the team to their only trophy in 2021, also expressed the view that Djokovic, from a physical standpoint, could maintain a high level of competition for two more years. This would imply staying within the top-5 rankings and contending for all the major titles:
"It depends on his health, but in my opinion, if Djokovic avoids injuries, he has two more years of playing at the top level. If there are no injuries, he has two more years of playing among the top 5 tennis players. It doesn't matter if he's second or fourth, it's important that he's there,” Pelic added.
Knowing him and his professionalism and desire, it is very likely that there will be more than two, but I repeat, only Novak can know and only he can decide how long he will play - concluded the former tennis player,"

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