Mats Wilander believes Rafael Nadal has the chance to cement his claim of being the greatest player of all time after his Australian Open win.
Nadal has been locked in a three-way battle with rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for the right to be considered the best male player who ever lived.
He went into the Australian Open tied with Djokovic and Federer on 20 majors, but he has now forged ahead in that race after beating Daniil Medvedev to win a 21st.
It is a metric many analysts consider pivotal in the GOAT race, and in that sense it is the first time Nadal has been out in front.
"He came into the tournament with low expectations for him," Wilander told Eurosport.
Nadal will have a chance to extend his lead in the Grand Slam race at the French Open in May, a venue where he always starts the clear favourite.
And, according to Wilander, Nadal may be entering what could be a defining period of time in his career.
"Imagine winning 21 Slams and going to a place where you have won 13 times, this is going to be the best three or four months of his career coming up now," he said.
"Being able to practice, be healthy, and then going into the clay court season.
"He’s never been in the lead in that Greatest Player Of All Time. Federer has been in the lead the whole time."
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