Garcia-Navarro: We’re talking about male players but there is of course wonderful female players. Let’s talk about Serena Williams. You say she is the best female player in the world in the book.
McEnroe: Best female player ever — no question.
Garcia-Navarro: Some wouldn’t qualify it, some would say she’s the best player in the world. Why qualify it?
McEnroe: Oh! Uh, she’s not, you mean, the best player in the world, period?
Garcia-Navarro: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?
McEnroe: Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.
Garcia-Navarro: You think so?
McEnroe: Yeah. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen would be I think something that perhaps it’d be a little higher, perhaps it’d be a little lower. 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 ’cause she’s been in it so many times, so many situations at Wimbledon, The U.S. Open, etc. But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.
I stopped playing tennis when I was very young since even back then my knee was complaining, which was about the same time when McEnroe was at his prime. I’ve never been a McEnroe fan (Rafa is more my type), but McEnroe is right.
For starters, men’s four grand slam – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open – are best-of-five sets matches, while women (and men in other tournaments) play best-of-three sets. When you consider that someone like Nadal is lasting for five sets while doing 110 mph serves consistently enough to win the French Open ten times, you can see McEnroe’s point.
We can spend all day chewing the fat over tennis, or over gender differences or whatnot, but here comes the best part: we’re the ones being played.
Brian John Thomas did some digging,
John McEnroe said something controversial about Serena Williams and women’s tennis. Oh shock.
Guess what people, it’s a stage managed outrage to sell some books. Both share the same book agent, obviously.
It’s all a game after all.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.