Tennis legend John McEnroe caused quite a stir during his NPR interview when he said Serena Williams would only be ranked 700 if she played on the men’s circuit. Williams hit back, but McEnroe refuses to apologize for his statement. From The Los Angeles Times:

McEnroe said he had been asked why he called Williams the best women’s tennis player of all time rather than simply the best tennis player of all time.

“And so then I felt the need, however unfortunately probably, to defend myself,” McEnroe said Tuesday. “I don’t know, just say what I really felt, which is about what I think she would be.”

McEnroe said he didn’t realize his statement “would create controversy” but added: “Why don’t you combine, just solve the problem — I’m sure the men would be all for this — the men and women play together and then we don’t have to guess.”

Here’s how Serena responded:

I don’t like it when women hide behind their pregnancies, but I’m willing to give Serena a pass after everything she has accomplished.

REMINDER: Serena won the Australian Open in January at EIGHT WEEKS PREGNANT.

McEnroe continued:

McEnroe, who won seven grand slam singles titles during his career, was bemused his comments had attracted so much attention. “I didn’t know it would create controversy. I’ve said this 1,000 times,” he said. “I don’t want anything to go wrong with Serena because she’s pregnant, I don’t want to upset her. I think she’s doing it tongue in cheek as well and I think deep down we’re talking about something … I can’t even believe we’re talking about it.”

But at the same time, does McEnroe have a point? Look at what Serena told David Letterman four years ago:

“For me, men’s tennis and women’s tennis are completely, almost, two separate sports,” Williams said. “If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes. No, it’s true. It’s a completely different sport. The men are a lot faster and they serve harder, they hit harder, it’s just a different game. I love to play women’s tennis. I only want to play girls, because I don’t want to be embarrassed.”

Let me remind you that Serena is not the same hot headed Serena from her beginnings. She has become more humble and grateful. She has matured not only as a tennis player and person. I personally adore her.

Serena has 39 Grand Slam titles: 23 in singles (including all time high of 7 in Australia), 14 in doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She has held all 4 Grand Slam titles at the same time two times in her career. She has also won 4 gold medals: 1 in singles, 3 in doubles. Her career win-loss record stands at 184-30.

But I’ve noticed that she will sell herself short. I saw her win Wimbledon in person and she blew me away. I’ve watched tennis my whole life and her talent is once in a lifetime thing you’ll see. Serena and Roger Federer play a different type of game on the courts, but they both become inhuman as they play.

It’s hard to say who would win: Serena vs. Roger, Serena vs. Novak Djokovic, Serena vs. Rafael Nadal? Either way, Serena could easily play all of them for 5 sets and would not be surprised if she emerged victorious.