Serena Williams Fires Back at John McEnroe for Ranking Tennis Comments — and He Refuses to Apologize

Serena Williams and John McEnroe
Serena Williams and John McEnroe attend the Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and John McEnroe Challenge at New York City in 2009. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Boy, bye. Serena Williams fired back at John McEnroe via Twitter on Monday, June 26, after he said that if she played on the men’s circuit, she’d be “like No. 700” in the world.

“Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based,” Williams, 35, who has 23 singles Grand Slams, responded via Twitter. “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.”

McEnroe, 58, made the comments during an interview with NPR on Sunday, June 25. “That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen on a given day is Serena could beat some players, I believe, because she is so incredibly strong mentally,” he said at the time. “But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”

McEnroe appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss his remarks and refused to apologize. “It wasn’t necessary. I didn’t know it would create controversy,” he said on Tuesday, June 27. “I would be, currently, about 1,200 in the world.”

In April, Williams won the Australia Open while pregnant. Days later, she announced that she is expecting her first child with her fiancé, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian.

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