John McEnroe's Comments About Serena Williams Light Up Twitter In an interview with NPR on Sunday, retired tennis player John McEnroe said Serena Williams was the best female tennis player in the world, but compared to top male players "she'd be like 700."
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John McEnroe's Comments About Serena Williams Light Up Twitter

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John McEnroe's Comments About Serena Williams Light Up Twitter

John McEnroe's Comments About Serena Williams Light Up Twitter

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's follow up on a remark by John McEnroe. On NPR last weekend, the tennis great called Serena Williams the best female player in the world.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Our own Lulu Garcia-Navarro was curious about the qualifier.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Some wouldn't qualify it. Some would say she's the best player in the world. Why qualify it?

JOHN MCENROE: Oh, she's not - you mean the best player in the world, period.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah - best tennis player in the world - you know, why say female player?

MCENROE: Well, because if she was - if she played the men's circuit, she'd be, like, 700 in the world.

INSKEEP: That sparked social media outrage, including from Williams, who wrote...

MARTIN: (Reading) Dear John, I adore and respect you, but please, please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.

INSKEEP: Ouch.

MARTIN: McEnroe did not apologize but did explain on CBS.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MCENROE: And I was simply calling her on - NPR was supposedly - you're supposed - you know, this is where you can say it like it is, and you're going to get honest feedback.

INSKEEP: He certainly got feedback. In related news, the Oxford English Dictionary announced new words it's adding this year, including some tennis terms.

MARTIN: One was inspired by McEnroe's famous on-court tantrums - superbrat.

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