John McEnroe made headlines while promoting his new book McEnroe on NPR. During his interview McEnroe was questioned about a portion in his book regarding Serena Williams.
He addresses Serena Williams, as the best female player “ever”. After saying in the last couple of years, Serena is “one of the all-time greatest athletes, period”.
According to McEnroe, Williams would place “like 700 in the world” if she played in the men’s tour. McEnroe continues on “that doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player.” He continues on, “I do but the reality of what would happen would be I think something that perhaps it’d be a little higher, perhaps it’d be a little lower.”
McEnroe believes Williams is “so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke ‘cause she’s been in it so many times.”
John McEnroe compares the odds to William’ winning a men’s tour to the odds of a woman in any other male sport. “I just haven’t seen that in any other sport, and I haven’t seen it in tennis. If she had to just play the men’s circuit, it would be an entirely different story.
Williams holds 4 Olympic medals and 23 Grand Slam single titles, winning her first title at 17 years-old.
After McEnroe’s interview went viral, Williams was sure to respond to McEnroe’s perceptions.
Monday afternoon, Williams responds to John McEnroe with two courterous tweets. “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.” William’s also tweets, “I’ve never played anyone “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”
In January Williams won the Australian Open while pregnant. Shortly after her win, Williams announced publicly that she was pregnant and would be missing the remainder of the 2017 season. Williams will be returnning for the 2018 season.