Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

McEnroe: Williams would be ranked 'like 700' on men's tour

Serena Williams Serena Williams
Spencer Simpson | 28 June, 2017, 01:39

In case you didn't know, male tennis player Riggs challenged female tennis pro Jean to a match after he said he could beat any female tennis player.

In an interview in which he was promoting his new memoir, "But Seriously", McEnroe called Williams the greatest woman to play tennis but then qualified her greatness by adding that if she played on the men's circuit, she would be ranked "like No. 700 in the world". That is exactly what he did during an NPR interview when talking about Serena Williams.

"Yeah, the best tennis player in the world", Garcia-Navarro said. What he said about her being an incredible player is correct - explosive, powerful and she puts in a lot of work.

Serena Williams plays a forehand in Women's Singles Final match against Venus Williams at 2017 Australian Open.

Garcia-Navarro wondered if there was more to determining the greatest player than who would win head-to-head. "Why qualify it?" Garcia-Navarro asked. "Is being the best athelete in the world about pitting men against women?"

Garcia-Navarro: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world.

"I've never heard John say anything absolutely stupid - he knows his stuff. But if she had to just play the circuit - the men's circuit - that would be an entirely different story", he added.

Serena Williams has responded to John McEnroe's comments on NPR.

"I don't think there's anything you do when you fail at it that you're happy when it happens".

'And on a given day Serena could beat some players.

McEnroe elaborated that the thought Serena's incredible mental strength would allow her to beat some male players. I don't think that's McEnroe's point. "I suppose anything's possible at some stage", he said.

"Absolutely - to try and be as ready as I possibly could, but I bring things to the table, certainly until recently", he said. She is pregnant, and I'm not.

Williams is undoubtedly a magnificent athlete, which she has proven time and time again. "Man or woman", and he offered nearly identical praise in 2015 after Williams' victory at Wimbledon. We had three kids together and my head was all over the place and I couldn't even think about. the transition that I was anticipating I was going to be making.

Yes, men and women have different bodies. And as someone who is sick of having to acknowledge and deconstruct the brutal sexism of sports on a regular basis, I hope that McEnroe realizes how outrageous and backwards that statement really was.

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