McEnroe sticks to his guns, offers no Serena apology

Despite drawing the ire of Serena Williams, John McEnroe has refused to apologise for suggesting she would struggle to crack the top 700 in the men's game.

"If she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world," McEnroe said during an interview on NPR to promote his new book.

"That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen would be I think something that perhaps it’d be a little higher, perhaps it’d be a little lower."

The former seven-time Grand Slam champion made headlines for his comments – which some saw as disrespectful – and even drew a response from Williams herself on Twitter.

"Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based," said the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is currently taking a break from tennis as she prepares to have her first child.

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

McEnroe had a chance to respond to his remarks on CBS This Morning, but when he was asked if he would like to apologise, he replied, "No." 

He did, however, admit the comments were unnecessary, and that he did not know they would create such controversy.

“I felt the need, however, unfortunately, to defend myself and say what I really felt, which is what I think she would be (in the men’s rankings),” McEnroe said, adding that he might have a way to settle the debate.

“I’ve got a solution. Solve the problem, and I’m sure the men would be all for this, the men and women play together. And then we don’t have to guess.”