John McEnroe brands Serena Williams ‘greatest player who ever lived’

Serena Williams wins 2017 Australian Open

American tennis icon John McEnroe believes that Serena Williams deserves to be called the greatest player who ever lived.

McEnroe feels that what Serena Williams has overcome makes her achievements on the court that much more impressive.

Williams is set to bring the curtain down on a career unmatched in the open era.

McEnroe says that her career is an inspiration to many people and that she has changed the sport forever.

“You can look at the accomplishments, she has the Grand Slam victories,” McEnroe said.

“The way that she moves the needle when she plays, it’s like Tiger Woods and golf. When she plays, it’s a whole different story.

“Off the court, I don’t know [her] as well, I know that she’s had a lot of difficulties in her life that she talks about in her own documentaries, but she has come out the other end as this icon, global superstar.

“Her story alone, what she represents as someone who’s an African-American girl who came from a tough situation, and became the greatest player that ever lived.

“What that represents for us, and maybe around the world, is an opportunity that it can happen to anyone potentially.”

McEnroe added that he is concerned that Williams might not enjoy her US Open swansong because of her competitive personality.

“Hopefully she’ll enjoy it. Serena is like Roger [Federer] – she’s not going there to lose first round,” McEnroe predicted.

“She’s played four matches [recently] and lost three of them, so that’s not what Serena wants. With all due respect to Cincinnati and Toronto, she wants to try to do something at the [US] Open. That’s what matters.

“I think that she realised, ‘look, I’ve got to get out in the court, feel it, go through those emotions that you feel on a court so that by the time I get to New York, I’ll be at least somewhat comfortable with where I’m at, and I can do my thing’.

“The younger players are sticking with her now thinking ‘maybe she’s not moving quite as well, now the pressure is not quite the same’. So that’s something she’s going to have to overcome as well as being consistently in points.

“But the bottom line is that people are going to be pulling for her big time. She will be in the night matches and should probably play night every time as long as she’s in the tournament – it would be nice to see her make some type of nice run.”

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Williams has already prepared herself for life after tennis, having established several enterprises away from the game.

She has made it clear that she has a passion for investing in projects run by people from disadvantaged backgrounds and she looks set to devote more time and energy to Serena Ventures.

Williams has already invested in over 50 startups and also owns stakes in UFC, the Miami Dolphins and women’s football team Angel City FC.