Tennis legend John McEnroe went on CBS This Morning after making controversial comments about how Serena Williams would “be like 700 in the world” if she played on the men’s circuit in an interview with NPR.
When the show’s co-host, Norah O’Donnell, asked McEnroe whether he’d like to apologize to Williams. McEnroe replied, “No.”
Williams, who graces this month’s cover of Vanity Fair, took to Twitter last night to respond to McEnroe’s comments. In the first tweet she wrote, “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based,” following up with, “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,” in the second tweet.
When asked about the response, McEnroe talked about his worry that he upset the pregnant tennis superstar: “I don’t want anything to go wrong with Serena because she’s pregnant. I don’t want to upset her or whatever it was. She’s – I think she was doing a tongue-in-cheek as well.” He added, “I can’t even believe we’re talking about it.”
McEnroe, who won seven Grand Slam titles as one of the the biggest stars in tennis throughout the Eighties, has talked in the past about how he believes he could beat Williams, who many consider to be the greatest tennis player ever, male or female. Maybe as famous for his temper and controversial remarks as he is his play, McEnroe offered up his solution to clear the air: “Why don’t you combine, just solve the problem – I’m sure the men would be all for this – the men and women play together and then we don’t have to guess,” he said.