McEnroe: Williams would be ranked 'like 700' on men's tour

Speaking to CBS, Eurosport pundit McEnroe later expanded on his stance on the matter and added that he would like men and women to play each other to settle the debate.

"Dear John, I adore and respect you, but please, please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based", she tweeted. "Like literally it dropped", she said.

Williams is now away from the WTA Tour as she's pregnant with her first child, and the men vs. women question is one that's been around tennis for quite some time. Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who interviewed McEnroe for NPR, also provided some food for thought on Twitter in wake of McEnroe's opinion going viral about pitting male athletes against female athletes seeing as this isn't the first time something like this has happened. As for whether he'd ever go up against Williams, he admitted, "I never wanted to play Serena".

"I felt the need, however unfortunately, to defend myself and say what I really felt, which is about what I think she would be", he said.

"I believe because she's so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke 'cause she's been in it so many times, so many situations at Wimbledon, The U.S. Open, etc", McEnroe continued. "(But) if she just played the men's circuit it would be an entirely different story".

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"I think she's doing it tongue in cheek as well and I think deep down we're talking about something". I was like, 'Serena, you're 35, you're ready. She didn't even want to entertain the idea of taking a pregnancy test, but a friend encouraged it.

McEnroe: The way you put that makes me think that you have your doubts. "I think Serena is incredible".

Addressing Williams' 23 Grand Slam singles titles, including her nearly-two-months pregnant 2017 Australian Open win, the Chicago Tribune reports Garcia-Navarro stated, "Some would say, she's the best player in the world..."

McEnroe won nine Grand Slam events in his career. "And I've got a lot to lose because if I lose to God forbid, a woman, them I'm not allowed in any men's locker room for the next 15 years or possibly the end of my life so that's part of why it's intriguing".

  • Tabitha Byrd