He turns 60 in February but John McEnroe still believes he could challenge women’s great Serena Williams on a tennis court.
Not that he wants to.
Before he was US president, Donald Trump once famously offered McEnroe $ US1 million to play either Serena or Venus Williamsin a match to rival the 1973 battle-of-the-sexes showdown when Billie-Jean King beat Bobby Riggs. He said no and continues to.
“It’s not something I ever wanted to do, honestly, but it’s something that I’m always asked,” McEnroe told the Nine Networks’ 60 Minutes on Sunday night. “I don’t know why I’m the guy. Why doesn’t he ask someone else? Go ask any of the other players, whoever the hell it is.
“It’s always me that somehow, it’s like I’m the one.
“It started in Australia 20 years ago because Serena and Venus when they were, I think, 18 and 19 or whatever said ‘we can play with the guys and beat the guys’.
But remaining competitive enough to beat the likes of Australia’s two-time grand slam finalist Mark Philippouss is on the seniors tour, McEnroe still believes he could give the Williams sisters a run for their money.
“The short answer is, as of this moment, if I trained properly and worked hard, I still believe that I could do it,” said the seven-times grand slam champion and former world No.1.
“I’m not going to say (I couldn’t). I’m getting closer to not being sure.” McEnroe’s teaser comes a year after he caused a major stir in the women’s ranks by saying the Williams sisters — who boast 30 singles majors between them — would struggle to crack the world’s top 700 in men’s tennis.
MCENROE’S WARNING TO KYRGIOS
Former on-court hothead McEnroe shared a word of advice to controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios, who has in 2018 slid down the ATP rankings to 36th.
McEnroe labelled Kyrgios “the most talented player I’ve seen in 10 years” but pointed out a key difference between himself and the Canberra product.
“The difference between me and him is that I tried all the time,” McEnroe said. “He doesn’t. For whatever reason. I’m not Sigmund Freud. It’d be good for the sport and obviously it’d be good for him. That goes without saying. Nick’s a real nice kid.
“But he’s going to run himself out of the game this way, which I don’t want to see. But that’s what’s going to happen, it’s as clear as day.”
— with AAP