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John McEnroe refuses to apologise to Serena Williams after controversial comment

The tennis champion claimed Serena Williams would struggle in men's tennis

john mcenroe© Photo: Getty Images
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
June 28, 2017
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John McEnroe has refused to apologise to Serena Williams after claiming that she would struggle to be ranked in the top 700 in men's tennis. On US radio station NPR this week, the 58-year-old remarked: "If she played the men's circuit, she'd be, like, 700 in the world." He continued: "That doesn't mean I don't think Serena is an incredible player, and I suppose anything's possible; maybe at some point a women's tennis player can be better than anybody."

john mcenroe© Photo: Getty Images

John McEnroe has refused to apologise to Serena Williams

STORY: Serena Williams hits back at John McEnroe's claims she would struggle in men's tennis

John, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, then tried to clarify his comments on Tuesday's episode of CBS's This Morning programme. When asked if he wanted to apologise, he flatly refused. "I felt the need [on Sunday], however unfortunately, to defend myself and say what I really felt, which is about what I think she would be [in the men's rankings]," he said. "I've got a solution. Solve the problem, and I'm sure the men would be all for this: the men and women play together."

serena williams© Photo: Getty Images

Serena hit back at John's comments on Twitter

WACTH: Heavily-pregnant Serena Williams is still playing tennis

He continued: "I know it wasn't necessary to [say] this but I didn't know it would create such controversy. I don't want anything to go wrong with Serena because she's pregnant. I don't want to upset her or anything. I can't even believe we're talking about it." John's remark received a huge backlash and also prompted Serena, who is expecting her first baby with fiancé Alexis Ohanian, to speak out. She tweeted: "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."

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