Serena Williams has fired back at John McEnroe after the retired tennis legend made the statement that she’d be the 700th best player in tennis if she were to compete among male players, Time reports.
“If she played the men’s circuit she’d be, like, 700 in the world,” said McEnroe during an interview with NPR.
McEnroe did acknowledge that Serena is a great player but emphasized yet again that a women’s tennis player wouldn’t fare well if she were to compete in the men’s circuit. He said that Williams “could beat some players” on any given day because of her mental toughness, which he says can be attributed to her extensive experience playing major tournaments like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
“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,” he said of Williams.
Serena Williams has taken to Twitter Monday evening to hit back at John McEnroe and ask him to respect her privacy as she is trying to have a baby.
“Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.
“I’ve never played anyone ranked ‘there’ nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”
Patrick McEnroe’s recent statement about Serena Williams is far removed from the one he made following her 2015 Wimbledon victory, in which he said that she was “arguably the greatest athlete of the last 100 years,” as reported by ESPN.
Russian Dmitry Tursunov, the 701st ranked player in the world, supported McEnroe’s statement by saying he could beat Williams in a tennis match. He added that while McEnroe was “trying to talk women’s tennis down,” he maintained that men are just stronger than women in general.
“I would hope that I would win against Serena,” he told the BBC.
Tursunov also reasoned that in a sport that’s becoming more and more physical, it’s going to be even difficult for a woman to beat men.
“It’s not black and white, there are lots of factors to take into account. Physically I might not be in the best shape of my life but as an overall package I’m much better than my ranking would suggest. She is pregnant, and I’m not.”
Broadcaster Tony Jones also weighed in on the discussion, saying that Serena Williams would beat Nick Kyrgios, as reported by 3 AW.
TJ explained that Williams would beat the 20th ranked player in the world because of her mental strength, adding that Kyrgios is “brittle” mentally.
“It’s a mind game, as well,” TJ said on 3AW Mornings.
“I think her mental strength alone would see her get the better of somebody like Nick Kyrgios.”
Nick Kyrgios, apparently offended by the “brittle” remark, fired back at TJ on Twitter, pointing out that by his logic, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic would struggle against Serena Williams because said players had tough matches against him.
Serena Williams, who has won 21 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 in doubles in her career so far, is considered by many as the greatest female tennis player of the open era.
In April, Williams announced that she and her fiancé, tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, are expecting a baby. Her publicist Kelly Bush confirmed Selena’s baby is due in autumn. On May 9, she took to Instagram to share a glowing photo of her baby bump.
[Featured Image by Ian Walton/Getty Images]