Serena Responds To McEnroe Saying She’d Be “700 in the World” on Men’s Tour

Serena Williams can declare “Game, Set, Match” over John McEnroe.

Williams, the reigning Wimbledon champion and recent Australian Open winner, who is taking time off to have her first baby, took to Twitter in response to a recent quote from John McEnroe during an interview with NPR.

McEnroe, in his forthcoming new book, “But, Seriously”, praised Williams as the “greatest female tennis player”. When asked about this, the following exchange took place.

“Why say female player?” NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, doing the interview, asked.

“Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world,” McEnroe said.

“You think so?” Garcia-Navarro said.

“Yeah. 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.”

The “700 in the world” quote immediately drew criticism online and on social media. Eventually, Williams herself responded on Twitter.



With her message, Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, emphatically shows no interest in this long-running “what if?” debate, as do most tennis fans.

What’s more interesting though is how the traditional media, especially in the U.S., still remains fixated on McEnroe so many years after his tennis career ended. While there are those tennis fans and sports lovers who want to know what “Johnny Mac” is doing these days, many others, especially those who didn’t grow up during his time on the men’s tour, simply have no interested at all in him or anything he says – especially relating to the current tour.

Yet so long as the networks continue giving McEnroe a paycheck to do television commentary, or in this case, a publisher giving him an advance to write another book, then we can only expect more McEnroe verbal faux pas blasting out across the media landscape for some time to come.

Tennis fans who don’t like that reality are probably yelling right now “You cannot be serious!”


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