John McEnroe says Serena Williams would be “like 700” in the world tennis rankings if she played on the men’s tour. McEnroe, speaking to NPR about his memoir “But Seriously,” says Williams is the best female player ever, “no question.” But when asked about her being the best ever, without gender qualifiers, McEnroe was clear that he didn’t think so.
McEnroe says “if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.”
The former tennis bad boy added that he thought Williams could beat some male players, “but if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”
McEnroe won seven Grand Slam titles in his career. Williams has won 23.
This story has been corrected to show that McEnroe’s book is called “But Seriously,” not “You Cannot Be Serious,” which is an earlier book by the tennis great.