The top male tennis player of all time - Jimmy Connors

March 2nd, 2011 - 11:32 am ICT by ANI  

Roger Federer Washington, Mar 2 (ANI): A new study that set out to find the best male tennis player of all time threw up some surprising results.

A new ranking system developed by a Northwestern University researcher produced Jimmy Connors as the best player in the history of the game.

Filippo Radicchi said the network analysis evaluated male tennis players who played in at least one Association of Tennis Professionals match between 1968 and 2010.

Similar to the algorithm Google uses to rank web pages, Radicchi’s algorithm runs on digital data from hundreds of thousands of matches.

He quantified the importance of players and ranked them by a “tennis prestige” score, which is determined by a player’s competitiveness, the quality of his performance and number of victories.

“In this particular ranking system, it’s more important to win a single match against a very good player than many matches against not-so-good players,” said Radicchi.

“One of the reasons Jimmy Connors ranks on top is because he played for more than 20 years and had the opportunity to win a lot of matches against other very good players,” he said.

The top 10 male tennis players are:

1. Jimmy Connors2. Ivan Lendl3. John McEnroe4. Guillermo Vilas5. Andre Agassi6. Stefan Edberg7. Roger Federer8. Pete Sampras9. Ilie Nastase10. Bjorn Borg

Radicchi expects Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to eventually move up in the rankings if they face tough competition and continue to win matches.

The same application could be used to rank countries involved in the global trade of certain commodities,” Radicchi said.

“In general, this type of analysis can help scientists better explain and understand complicated global relationships.”

The rankings are published in PLoS ONE. (ANI)

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