In his interview with NPR, promoting his new book, he said, “But Seriously,” McEnroe qualified her greatness that if Serena played on the men’s circuit she’d be “like No. 700 in the world.”
“That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen on a given day is Serena could beat some players, I believe, because she is so incredibly strong mentally,” McEnroe said.
“But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”
1998: Karsten Braasch vs. the Williams sisters
Winder Bill provided this anecdote: “Another event dubbed a “Battle of the Sexes” took place during the 1998 Australian Open between Karsten Braasch and the Williams sisters. Venus and Serena Williams had claimed that they could beat any male player ranked outside the world’s top 200, so Braasch, then ranked 203rd, challenged them both.
“Braasch was described by one journalist as “a man whose training regime centered around a pack of cigarettes and more than a couple bottles of ice cold lager”. The matches took place on court number 12 in Melbourne Park, after Braasch had finished a round of golf and two beers. He first took on Serena and after leading 5–0, beat her 6–1. Venus then walked on court and again Braasch was victorious, this time winning 6–2.
“Braasch said afterwards, “500 and above, no chance”. He added that he had played like someone ranked 600th in order to keep the game “fun”. Braasch said the big difference was that men can chase down shots much easier, and that men put spin on the ball that the women can’t handle. The Williams sisters adjusted their claim to beating men outside the top 350.”
I think that – even though I do not like how she acts on the court – Serena may be the best female tennis player ever; but if she were on the Men’s Tour, she would not be in the top 150.
And, if they aren’t as strong players as men… and they play only best of three at majors… and their TV ratings are lower … why DO women get equal tennis pay?
What do you think?
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