1973 French Open runner-up Nikola Pilic downplayed Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open win, saying it wasn’t something utterly phenomenal.

Nadal made history at the Australian Open by winning his 21st Grand Slam. He beat a stubborn and resilient Daniil Medvedev by coming back from two sets down to take the final.

The win meant he leapfrogged Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to become the most successful player in tennis history. It was another big milestone for the Spaniard, who has taken a big step towards the all-timer debate.

However, Pilic downplayed Nadal’s Australian Open win, saying he did it without facing the best player in the world today.

“Nadal found his rhythm in the third set, he played much better, he raised the level of the game, while Medvedev physically fell and in the fourth and fifth sets he could barely walk,” Pilic told Index.hr, as quoted by Tennis World USA.

“Nadal was fresher and much more physically prepared than Medvedev, and as the match came to an end, it was clear that he would go to the Spaniard’s side.”

Nikola Pilic: Honest congratulations to Rafael Nadal but that's not a real triumph
Nadal (pictured) won his 21st Grand Slam title in Australia. Source: tennisworldusa.org

Physicality

“Rafa has always exceptional when it comes to the physical part,” he continued.

“What else can you say about the man who has won Roland Garros 13 times? The French Open is by far the most demanding tournament in the world, the exchanges there are long, and the matches last for five or six hours. Whoever wins that tournament 13 times is a phenomenon.

“Congratulations from the bottom of my heart, what he did has its weight, but this is not a real triumph when he won without the best player in the world.”

Pilic also commented on the ATP regulations, saying, “Some things in the ATP need to be changed urgently.

“The ATP must, as (former tennis player) John McEnroe said, award Grand Slam titles with 3,000 points, not 2,000 as is being done today.”

Read more: Wilander surprised by Zverev’s comments – “Never heard Nadal, Federer or Djokovic mention money”

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