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When will everyone learn that Serena Williams is not to be trifled with? Simply put, you don’t mess with Serena — unless you feel like being put in your place. Because even when she is putting you in your place, she does it in such a way that keeps her halo crown on and you … well, you are left slinking away, tail between legs. Oh, that swishing sound you hear? That’s John McEnroe finding the nearest exit.

Mac was interviewed on NPR on the weekend where he stated unequivocally just how great a tennis player Serena is. “Best female player ever — no question.” Yup, stating the obvious but we’re totally on board. But when pressed by reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro on why he qualifies the statement with “female,” McEnroe’s reply was less complimentary.

“Oh! Uh, she’s not, you mean, the best player in the world, period?” McEnroe asked, then added, “Well, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.”

The following day, Williams took to Twitter to respond to McEnroe’s comments, and as usual, they are an absolute pleasure to take in.

In the first tweet, Serena wrote, “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.” She followed that up with a request that Mac and others respect her privacy as she takes some personal time to have her first child.

“Good day sir.” Damn, that ranks up there with Jennifer Garner‘s “Bless his heart” when she learned about Ben Affleck‘s giant, albeit fake, phoenix tattoo.

Look, we’ll give John this: he’s always praised Serena and gives credit where credit is due. And he did sound a tad uncomfortable when asked the question and probably thought he was just answering it honestly. That being said, he didn’t have to throw in a number, especially one as ridiculous as 700. Please. Williams is one of the best athletes in the game, arguably the GOAT. She has 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name — the last one she earned at the Australian Open earlier this year WHILE PREGNANT. John, if you can do that, maybe Serena will hear what you have to say. In the meantime, she’s got more important things to keep her busy.

Getty Images
Getty Images