Former Tennis Bad Boy Says Best Female Player Ever Would Beat Some Men Due To Her Mental Toughness

LONDON (CBSNewYork/AP) — John McEnroe, speaking to NPR about his memoir “You Cannot Be Serious,” says Serena Williams is the best female player ever, “no question.” But when asked about her being the best ever, without gender qualifiers, McEnroe was clear that he didn’t think so.

“If she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world,” McEnroe said.

READ MORE: David Gilbert, Man Convicted In Deadly 1981 Bank Heist In Rockland County, Granted Parole

Serena Williams -- Australian Open

Serena Williams hits a return against Belinda Bencic during their match on Day 2 of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 17, 2017. (Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

The former tennis bad boy added that he thought Williams could beat some male players due to her mental toughness, “but if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”

READ MORE: What's Causing Record Flooding? Experts Say Missing, Dying Trees Are One Reason

MORELISTEN: John McEnroe Discusses Future Of US Men’s Tennis

McEnroe won seven Grand Slam titles in his career. Williams has won 23.

MORE NEWS: Candidate Conversations: Eric Adams

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)