McEnroe regrets his comments on Serena

John McEnroe's comparison of Serena Williams to men’s tennis players created a furore, which, he now feels, could have been avoided.

“I’ll agree, it would have been better not to have said it. I didn’t realize it would create something like this,” said John McEnroe about his controversial comments.   -  AP

Tennis legend John McEnroe has regretted his ‘No. 700 on men’s tour’ remark about 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

His comparison of Serena to men’s tennis players created a furore, which, he now feels, could have been avoided.

“Maybe it was wrong,” Sport24 quoted McEnroe as saying. “I’ll agree, it would have been better not to have said it. I didn’t realize it would create something like this.”

The seven-time major champion further said that he has a lot of respect for the American tennis star.

“Maybe it’s better if it hadn’t been said, because I have a lot of respect for Serena,” McEnroe said. “She has been great for the game. People that know me know that. I think that’s really what it boils down.”

“That was just an opinion. That’s just my opinion. This is not something that has been earth-shattering, that I feel there’s a difference in the level of the women and the men."

The row started after McEnroe had claimed that Serena would be ranked 700 if she plays on the men’s circuit.

McEnroe, a seven-time major champion, speaking during a tour to promote his new book But Seriously, had said that while he has great respect for Serena, he would place the 23-time Grand Slam winner “like 700 in the world” on the men’s circuit.

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