Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s episode (July 12, 2017), in the middle of the second week of Wimbledon, we’ve got a very special treat: a “Stat School” with FiveThirtyEight tennis expert emeritus Carl Bialik. Carl breaks down how we should judge a tennis player by the numbers, in order of increasing complexity — from simple Grand Slams won to more newfangled stats such as that longtime FiveThirtyEight favorite, the Elo rating.
Here are links to the things we discussed during the show:
- Check out ESPN’s latest updates on Wimbledon here.
- If you’re a tennis fan, keep up with Carl’s latest theories by subscribing to the podcasts Thirty Love and The Tennis Abstract Podcast.
- In the past, Carl teamed up with FiveThirtyEight’s Benjamin Morris to write about Serena Williams and the difference between all-time great and greatest of all time.
- On the men’s side, Carl and Benjamin also examined the rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
- Sports Illustrated’s Craig Lambert took a look at the Universal Tennis Rating system back in 2015.