New York - Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles
champion, fired back on Monday at John McEnroe's remark that she would only
rank about 700th on the men's tennis circuit.
McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles winner, called
Williams "best female player ever - no question," in comments to
National Public Radio aired on Sunday.
But asked why she should not be considered the best of all
time, McEnroe added: "If she had to just play the circuit - the men's
circuit - that would be an entirely different story."
McEnroe, speaking on a tour to promote his new book
"But Seriously," said he would place Williams "like 700 in the
world" on the ATP Tour.
On Monday, Williams responded in two Twitter postings.
"Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please
keep me out of your statements that are not factually based," she wrote.
"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
Williams, 35, won this year's Australian Open for her
seventh Melbourne crown and her 23rd Slam singles title, setting an Open Era
record and moving one shy of Margaret Court's all-time Slam singles title
In April, Williams announced that she was pregnant and would
not compete for the remainder of the season.
Williams has won Wimbledon and the Australian Open seven
times, the US Open six times and the French Open three times.
McEnroe, 58, is a former world number one like Williams. He
won four US Open and three Wimbledon singles titles.