Serena Williams would struggle to be in the world’s top 700 if she was on the men’s circuit, according to seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe. And Dmitry Tursunov, the male player, ranked 701 in the world, believes he could beat her too.
McEnroe said of world number one Williams, who has won an Open-era record 23 Grand Slams: “If she played the men’s circuit she’d be, like, 700 in the world.”
He qualified the comments by saying: “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.”
But he added: “I just haven’t seen that in any other sport, and I haven’t seen it in tennis. If she had to just play the men’s circuit, it would be an entirely different story.”
Dmitry Tursunov is the man ranked 701st in the world. The 34-year-old Russian was once ranked as high as 20th.
Tursunov said he did not think McEnroe was “trying to talk women’s tennis down” but said “the reality” was that “men are stronger in general”.