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McEnroe regrets Williams remark

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 29-06-2017 skysports.com

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John McEnroe has admitted to wishing he had never made a comparison between Serena Williams and male tennis players. 

McEnroe, who was speaking on an ESPN ahead of Wimbledon, said he regretted his remark that Williams would rank "like 700 in the world" and the ensuing outcry.

"Maybe it was wrong," McEnroe said. "I'll agree, it would have been better not to have said it. I didn't realise it would create something like this."

The uproar came after McEnroe had described Williams as the "best female player ever - no question" but then added that should she play on the men's circuit it "would be an entirely different story".

The next day, Williams took to Twitter to respond asking for her privacy to be respected.

McEnroe refused to apologise on Tuesday when asked on CBS television. On Wednesday, he re-iterated his respect for Williams and her accomplishments.

"Maybe it's better if it hadn't been said, because I have a lot of respect for Serena," McEnroe said. "She has been great for the game. People that know me know that. I think that's really what it boils down."

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 record.

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