Belfast Telegraph

Serena Williams blasts John McEnroe for disrespecting her court skills

The sportswoman is taking a year away from tennis so she can focus on motherhood.

Pregnant tennis ace Serena Williams has smashed John McEnroe for suggesting she'd rank 700th in the world if the sport's male and female athletes were mixed.

Williams, who has slipped from number one to four on the female tennis circuit due to her pregnancy, has taken to Twitter to blast the outspoken former player for comments he made during a U.S. radio interview on Sunday (25Jun17).

McEnroe insisted Serena is "an incredible player", but added, "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.

"(She'd be) like, number 700."

Serena took issue with the tennis great's remarks, tweeting: "Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.

"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."

McEnroe was given the opportunity to apologise during an appearance on U.S. breakfast show This Morning on Tuesday (27Jun17), but he declined, stating, "It wasn't necessary. I didn't know it would create controversy. I would be, currently, about 1,200 in the world."

Williams won the Australian Open in January (17), in the early days of her pregnancy, weeks before announcing her happy news in April (17). The child will be her first with her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. She has since declared she is taking a year away from tennis to concentrate on motherhood, but she plans to be back on the court in 2018.

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