“He’s won 90% of the titles in 250 series,” Nikola Pilic refuses to compare Novak Djokovic and Jimmy Connors’ career titles tally
Nikola Pilic was unhesitant in brushing aside Jimmy Connors' achievements in order to praise Djokovic.
Jimmy Connors, Novak Djokovic, Nikola Pilic (Images via The Independent, Britannica, Mens Tennis Forums)
Former Croatian tennis player Nikola Pilic who once coached Novak Djokovic has refused to compare Jimmy Connors’ 109 ATP titles with the Serbian’s 98. Pilic was straightforward in his response to the question about Connors leading the list of most career titles, with 109 titles to his credit. The Croatian has claimed that as a majority of those 109 titles won by Connors were won in 250 series, they do not hold the same significance.
While calling Novak Djokovic the best in all categories, Pilic said that it is unwise to compare eras and so is the comparison between Connors’ career titles with Djokovic’s. It is worth mentioning that only two players have won more than 100 titles- Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors. While Connors is at the top with 109 titles in his bag, Federer is in the second position with 103.
Novak Djokovic is two titles away from entering the 100 titles club and the Serbian also aims to pip Connors in terms of most career titles. While that seems a distant affair, Nikola Pilic has already declared Djokovic as the best among all. He feels the 98 titles won by Djokovic are much more significant than those 109 titles.
This record is not very important to me, it’s not something fun for me. I know Connors and beat him once in Philadelphia, 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 very different, times have changed, but what is very telling is that Novak is the best in the six categories that count, and that's what we see, the numbers say it all.Nikola Pilic said to Kurir.
Nikola Pilic predicts Novak Djokovic’s retirement plans
After hailing Novak Djokovic for his consistency at the top level, Nikola Pilic also addressed the talks around the Serbian’s retirement. Pilic believes that Djokovic will go on to play for two more years unless he has injury concerns.
The former Croatian player feels the 24-time Grand Slam winner further stated that Djokovic can even extend his career if he feels fit enough to play on the tour. Pilic also believes that Djokovic will be in the top five till he is there. But in the end, he also said that what lies ahead for the Serbian is only with him.
It depends on his health condition, but in my opinion, if Djokovic is not injured, 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 five tennis players...Knowing him and his professionalism and desire, there will likely be more than two, but I repeat, only Novak can know, and only he can decide how long he will play.Nikola Pilic said.
Notably, Novak Djokovic was disheartened after his loss to Jannik Sinner in the Davis Cup semifinals, and the 34-year-old has not said anything about what lies ahead for him. However, after his win at the 2023 US Open and in Paris, the Serbian had talked about the hunger to win more. Djokovic had also talked about chasing Jimmy Connors’ record and for that, he will have to play two more years at the least.
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