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John McEnroe ‘Respects’ Serena Williams, But Still Thinks She’s Not as Good as a Male Player

The tennis legend stopped by Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' to address his controversial comments.

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Foul-mouthed tennis legend John McEnroe drew ire from all over the internet this week after telling an NPR reporter that Serena Williams would “be like 700 in the world” if she played on the men’s circuit.

The 58-year-old, not known for his finesse off the court, clarified the context of his comments to Stephen Colbert during an appearance on the Late Show — but didn’t backpedal on them.

“I said, ‘Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player that ever lived, and I think she’s absolutely tremendous,” McEnroe explained.  “She [the reporter] followed it up with, ‘Why do you have to say female tennis player? Isn’t she the greatest tennis player that ever lived?’ And I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. Hang on a second here. If we’re going to talk about that, then you get into a little different category.”

Williams, who is on the verge of giving birth to her first child with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, wasn’t a fan of Superbrat’s commentary. “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually baed,” the tennis champion tweeted. “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.”

Watch McEnroe’s comments for yourself. Do you think he fouled out?