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American tennis superstar Serena Williams

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But if Williams were to play in men’s caterory, McEnroe says she’d be ‘world no. 700’

 

NEW YORK CITY – As far as seven-time major tournament winner John McEnroe is concerned, American tennis superstar Serena Williams is the “greatest woman to every play tennis”.

But McEnroe, who retired from professional tennis in 1992, told NPR in an interview during a tour promoting his new book “But Seriously” that if Williams were to play in the men’s tennis category, she’d be “world no. 700”.

“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. But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story,” said the 58-year-old McEnroe.




Williams, 33, is currently on hiatus from tennis until next year as she is pregnant with her child with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, with whom she got engaged in December last year.

McEnroe believes that at some point in the future, a female tennis player would be better than anybody. “I just haven’t seen it in any other sport, and I haven’t seen it in tennis. I suppose anything’s possible at some stage,” he said.

McEnroe had praised Williams in the past.

When Williams won the US Open victory in 2012, McEnroe sad: “You’re watching, to me, the greatest player to ever play the game.” And after winning the Wimbledon’s women’s singles title in 2015, McEnroe described Williams as “arguably the greatest athlete of the last 100 years.”

Williams’ tennis career achievements include the distinction of being the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam title, surpassing Martina Navratilova and her Wimbledon title in 1990; 23 singles Grand Slams and 14 more in doubles. GAC/Expat Media

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