Beyond Bravo

Serena Williams Fires Back at John McEnroe After He Said She'd Be "700 in the World" If She Played Against Men

Oh, and he isn't apologizing either.

You know who had something to say about Serena Williams' skills on the tennis court? Well, none other than John McEnroe. The former tennis pro commented on her abilities in an interview with NPR, in which he explained why he qualifies her as the best female player and not player in general.

“Well, because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world,” he said, via the Washington Post. "That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. 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. And on a given day, Serena could beat some players. I believe because she’s so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke ’cause she’s been in it so many times, so many situations at Wimbledon, The U.S. Open, etc. But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”

Well, Serena (who has previously acknowledged there is a difference between men's and women's tennis) was listening, and she issued a response to his comments on Twitter.

Following all the brouhaha, McEnroe appeared on CBS This Morning on Tuesday and he refused to apologize over his comments. "I respect Serena very much so," he said, via PEOPLE. “She’s the greatest female player that ever lived, then the lady said to me, I don’t remember which one, but she said, ‘Why did you say woman, why don’t you just say the greatest, you know, tennis player that ever lived?’ And so then I felt the need, however unfortunately probably, to defend myself. I don’t know, just say what I really felt, which is about what I think she would be... I didn’t know it would create controversy, no.”

For the record, while on the show, he ranked himself — if he played currently — at 1200.

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