John McEnroe has long been known for his brash personality, but this time it may come back to haunt him. McEnroe spoke to NPR about his new memoir You Cannot Be Serious. He said that while Williams is the best female tennis player ever bar none, the distinction gets a bit muddier when you ask if she's the best tennis player period. McEnroe said that he believed that Williams would be the 700th player in the world on the men's circuit.
McEnroe had some other statements that troubled people, including an implication that women's tennis has suffered with the dominance of the Williams sisters. Of course, on the men's side, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovich have won 12 of the past 18 men's Grand Slam titles. Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray have sneaked in the odd title here and there, but it has still been largely dominated by the top tier.
Some have pointed out the disparity between Williams and McEnroe in terms of success, with McEnroe having won seven Grand Slams and Williams holding 23. McEnroe has always had strong opinions, and his interview touched on many other topics. All-in-all, the question boils down to relative success. Although Williams might be the most successful tennis player ever, McEnroe clearly sees a wide disparity between the men's and women's circuits. Although the odds are next to none, it would be great to see another Bobby Riggs situation to settle whether McEnroe is right or not. This interview came mere days after McEnroe declared himself a "proud feminist."
John McEnroe says that Venus and Serena's dominance hasn't been good for Women's tennis when the same 4 dudes been running the ATP since 04.— Eugene (@Imma_GENE_Us) June 23, 2017
Over-the-hill former jock trying to stay relevant by feasting off the success of someone who is a much better person than he. Shame on you.— barTon (@Crabbyole47) June 26, 2017