Yes, obviously

John McEnroe has reopened a timeworn debate by saying that Serena Williams would “be like 700 in the world” if she played on the men’s tour. That would put Williams (career earnings: $84.4m) just behind Brazil’s Wilson Leite (career earnings: $74,000) in the men’s world rankings.

McEnroe’s comments came during an NPR interview on Sunday to promote his memoir, But Seriously. “Perhaps [her ranking] would be a little higher, perhaps it’d be a little lower,” he said. “And on a given day Serena could beat some players. I believe because she’s so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke because she’s been in it so many times, so many situations at Wimbledon, the US Open etc. But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”

That’s why we have male and female competitions, isn’t it?

Williams herself agrees by the way. What will be fun is to wait and see who bites on this. Amanduh?

6 thoughts on “Yes, obviously”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    I wonder if he’ll keep his BBC contract for Wimbledon? He’s about the only person worth listening to, not that I take that much notice.

  2. The Pedant-General

    And Williams then agreed:

    “For me, men’s tennis and women’s tennis are completely, almost, two separate sports,” Williams said. “If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes. No, it’s true.”

    Note also that she uses best of 3, rather than the men’s best of 5…

  3. The NPR interviewer reopened the debate by trying to get him to defer to her feminist delusions

    NPR – makes the Guardian look like the Daily Mail. Radio Pravda.

  4. So Serena Williams comes out of this as being honest, in contrast to the media. Surprise!!

    I have had the good fortune to meet a number of sport stars or ex-stars (mostly ex- at my age, although I did compete against a 2016 Olympian last year – and was lapped) – they are universally nice guys/gals and have self-confidence so that they don’t feel any need to lie about their abilities. Actually they tend to be self-deprecatory, so I strongly suspect that Serena Williams was doing so in the interview.

    NB I do not wear rose-coloured spectacles – there are a small handful of lower-quality competitors who are not so nice.

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