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Serena Williams fired back at John McEnroe, telling him to 'respect me and my privacy'


UPDATE June 27, 9:46 a.m. EST: Serena Williams fired back at John McEnroe on Twitter.

ORIGINAL STORY: Retired tennis star John McEnroe said that while he believes Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player ever, she would rank "like 700 in the world" if she played on the men's circuit.

NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro asked McEnroe about his thoughts on Williams during an interview to discuss McEnroe's new book.

"She’s so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke ’cause she’s been in it so many times," McEnroe said.

"But if she had to just play the men’s circuit, that would be an entirely different story."

Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam titles, made a similar argument about the difference between men's and women's tennis when asked about playing against Andy Murray during a 2013 appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman."

"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."

The NPR host tweeted about the interview.

Predictably, McEnroe's comments sparked discussion.

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