By now over two months have passed since the public reveal last April that tennis superstar Serena Williams was pregnant. As a matter of fact, she had been carrying her first child with her fiancé Alexis Ohanian since playing at the Australian Open back in January.

Any chance of passing the latter months of her pregnancy without problems were dashed this month when former world number one in tennis John Mcenroe made discriminatory remarks on how Serena, one of the best female tennis aces ever, would only be ranked 700 or so if playing on the men’s circuit. Such misogyny wasn’t going to be taken by Williams lying down, and she has since fired back at McEnroe for that dig.

A little respect

The spat began when John McEnroe was interviewed saying that despite the fact that 23-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams was the best female tennis player ever, she can’t be considered the best player period. He then proceeded to push the jab further by equating the pregnant star’s ranking among women to a mere 700 in the men’s list. Serena, aged 35, then took McEnroe to task on Twitter with a sharp comeback against his rather exaggerated claims.

Williams started off with expressing some respect for McEnroe, a seven-time grand slam champion himself, but warned him against dropping her name in any further statements that she described as not being factually based.

"I've never played anyone ranked 'there' nor do I have time,” a further tweet read. “Respect me and my privacy as I'm trying to have a baby. Good day sir."

It should be noted that Serena is the only woman in the sports world who made it in the Top 100 world’s highest-paid athletes 2017 list by Forbes.

She has also won the most grand slam titles across both genders in the Open Era of tennis. Her male counterpart, Roger Federer of Switzerland, is short by only five more grand slam wins.

Backtracking comments

Apparently, John McEnroe already realized himself that his words may have crossed the line as soon as he had said it during his interview with NPR.

He immediately tried to soften his statement by stressing his genuine belief that Serena Williams was an “incredible” tennis player and the best woman “ever” to pick up the sport professionally.

In the actual men’s world ranking at the moment, the ranked 700 player whom McEnroe equated to Serena was Egypt’s Issam Haitham Taweel, who has no career titles to his name yet. Meanwhile, Williams is expected to return to tennis by next year, after spending more time with her intended and their baby.

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