It's Davis Cup week. Yawn. At least until Friday, there's going to be pretty much fat nothing to write about. Except the INEVITABLE GLORIOUS RUN of my main man Nicolas Mahut in Cherbourg (antijinx). He is the second seed in the singles (after Grigor Dimitrov) and the top seed in the doubles with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. And they just won their first round doubles match. So... yeah. Awesome.
But due to this very little 'actual tennis' thing I have to write about, I thought I would write about this. It's a study. Possibly one of the worst studies of all time. The formula it uses analyses and tallies up how many wins players had over other 'quality players', regardless of arena, and then churns out a Greatest of All Time.
The GOAT, according to this study of stupidness? Jimmy Connors.
We all know where I stand when it comes to GOATness. If one has to pick, I'm Team Federer forever. But even if this survey had come out and said that yes, Federer is the greatest of all time, their methodology is clearly more than a little specious. Did you know that Federer has only, according to this, won 39 quality matches in his career? So that's eight victories over Rafa, thirteen over Djokovic, six over Murray, eight over Agassi... that's 35. Oh! one over Sampras. Make that 36. Chuck in a few others, and hey presto! Roger Federer has never won anything else ever.
And that's not even starting on the Rafa stats. He's only won 21 matches of quality. Because that's how you win five Roland Garros titles, bitches.
Surely when results like this came out of the study - Connors at #1, followed by Lendl and McEnroe - they should have realised it was a bit, how shall we say it... not very good? I mean, those dudes were great, and they did great things, but the greatest? I think not. If they're the results you're getting, your scale is wrong, bro.
I don't know if it is possible to quantify a Greatest of All Time. But if it is, this is not the right way to go about it.
I wonder how the system decides what a 'quality win' is, as well. Does Federer's victory over Andy Roddick in Wimbledon in 2009 count as a quality win? Because it was pretty freaking spectacular. But Roddick has been his bunny for a while now, so I'm sure that twenty-odd wins against Roddick can't be counted in those 39 wins he's apparently had. There's no regard to situation either, so matches like Roger's AO win over Baghdatis probably doesn't count.
I hope this 'prestige ranking' thing doesn't catch on. Because I am telling you right now that I think it is stupid. And you should all listen to me. Just because.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago