L O N D O N, Sept. 19, 2000 -- New Yorker John McEnroe says the Williams sisters,while playing winning tennis, lack respect and humility.
The mellowed bad boy of the sport took the sisters to task in acolumn in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
“What they have achieved is great, but they have no respect for anyone in the game,” McEnroe wrote.
‘Enough Is Enough’
McEnroe objected to comments by Serena Williams, who last yearsaid she would like to play in a couple of men’s tournaments.
“Do women golfers say they could go out and beat Tiger Woods?” he asked.
McEnroe also accused Venus Williams of displaying a lack ofhumility while winning Wimbledon this year.
“Enough is enough,” McEnroe wrote. “Would it kill them to sayhello to people in the locker room?”
The sisters are in Sydney for the Olympics and were unavailablefor immediate comment. Their father, Richard Williams, had littlereaction to McEnroe’s comments.
“Everyone has a right to their opinion,” Richard Williams saidfrom his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Not a Challenge
McEnroe restated his opinion — earlier expressed to the NewYorker magazine — that “a lot of male college kids and members ofthe seniors’ tour could beat the sisters.”
But he said that, contrary to press reports, he never challengedthe sisters to a match — even though he was offered $1 million byDonald Trump to take on one of the pair.
“I have no intention of getting involved, nor do I particularlywant to have anything to do with them until they start to showpeople in the sport a little more respect,” McEnroe said.
McEnroe had words of praise, however, for rising Russian men’sstar Marat Safin.
The famously temperamental 20-year-old player, McEnroe wrote, is“someone special” and “not just a contender but a champion.”