Science Answers GOAT Question

by: Ed McGrogan | March 02, 2011

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Jimmy ConnorsAll you fans of Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rod Laver will not be happy with this news. According to a computer, Jimmy Connors is the greatest tennis player of all time. I knooow! How could this be? And the computer wasn't even Watson! Anyway, a researcher at Northwestern University created a new ranking system based on quality wins. He ran an algorithm, inputted some digital data and, voila!, up popped a list of the best ever. Then he published his report in a Public Library of Science journal. (That must mean it's official.) The list has Connors first, followed by Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe. (Ha! Lendl beats McEnroe again, sorta.) Federer came in at No. 7, Rafael Nadal is No. 24 and Laver is nowhere to be seen. Granted, the data was collected from matches played between 1968 and 2010, so maybe he didn't play enough? This should end the debate once and for all. Or at least for five minutes.

On another note, Daily Spin wants to wish Serena Williams, one of our favorite subjects, a speedy recovery. Get well soon, Serena!

—Sarah Thurmond

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