John Higgins has been declared snooker's greatest player of all time over Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and others, a new study has found.
Kyren Wilson said he "lost to the greatest snooker player of all time" in O'Sullivan after their World Championship final at The Crucible last year, but that is not a view shared by the fascinating study.
Wilson's proclamation came after the Rocket claimed his sixth world title in quite magnificent fashion in Sheffield, and his beaten opponent was left in no doubt about the status of the victor.
'Dreadful and embarrassing' – Ford slams performance despite winning group
The triumph moved O'Sullivan level with Ray Reardon and his hero Steve Davis in world titles, one shy of Stephen Hendry's record of seven.
But the study, led by Joseph D. O'Brien, still found Higgins to be the greatest after it examined close to 48,000 results between 1968 and 2020.
White: Even Hendry would tell you O’Sullivan is the greatest
As explained in the study, it consisted of a complex algorithm which weighted results based on the individual quality of opponents and the head-to-head records of leading players.
- O'Sullivan unleashes break of 141, somehow loses best-of-three match
- 'Oh dear!' - O'Sullivan farts, can't stop laughing, plays shot one-handed
Higgins, who came out on top ahead of O'Sullivan in second place with Mark Williams and Stephen Hendry in third and fourth respectively, was not so sure about the findings.
"I’m truly flattered," said Higgins. "But I have to admit I have not won enough of the big titles consistently to be regarded as the greatest of all time.
If I had to give the accolade to anyone it would have to be my rival for so many years…Ronnie!
As modest as Higgins was about the study's findings, it must be noted that the Scot has a hugely impressive four world titles to his name and 31 ranking wins in his illustrious career.
'A bit rusty' – Hawkins aims to impress after starting season with victory
Trump, O’Sullivan and Hendry commit to British Open