John McEnroe: Serena Williams would be ranked ‘like 700’ on men’s tour

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LONDON — John McEnroe says Serena Williams would be “like 700” in the world tennis rankings if she played on the men’s tour.

McEnroe, speaking to NPR about his memoir “You Cannot Be Serious,” says Williams is the best female player ever, “no question.” But when asked about her being the best ever, without gender qualifiers, McEnroe was clear that he didn’t think so.

McEnroe says “if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.”

The former tennis bad boy added that he thought Williams could beat some male players, “but if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”

McEnroe won seven Grand Slam titles in his career. Williams has won 23.

Federer beats Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 for 9th Halle title

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HALLE, Germany– Roger Federer defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 to win the Gerry Weber Open for a record ninth time on Sunday.

Playing in his 140th career final, Federer saved the only break point he faced and converted four of his eight opportunities to clinch his 92nd career title in 53 minutes. At 35, the Swiss player became the oldest winner of the grass-court tournament.

“I played unbelievably well. I felt good and never let up,” said Federer, who dropped just nine points on his serve. “It was my best game this week. Nearly everything worked out for me.”

Federer, who skipped the clay-court season after winning the Miami Open in early April, claimed his fourth title of the year, matching Rafael Nadal’s tally, and he will be seeded ahead of his Spanish rival for Wimbledon, which starts in eight days.

Federer had already won the Australian Open before titles in Indian Wells and Miami in 2017.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion was surprised by German veteran Tommy Haas on his return from the two-month break last week in Stuttgart but brushed off any doubts over his form in Halle.

Against the 20-year-old Zverev, who lost last year’s final to Florian Mayer, Federer raced to a 4-0 lead before wrapping up the first set in 22 minutes. Zverev created his only break chance in the opening game of the second, but ultimately was unable to show why he is regarded as one of the sport’s brightest prospects.

“You could have been a bit nicer and allowed me a couple more points,” Zverev joked to his idol.

Federer had words of affection for Zverev, who won their semifinal in Halle last year.

“He’s a very nice lad. I’m very happy for him, how he’s developed in the last years. The future belongs to him,” Federer said.

Federer beats Khachanov to advance to his 11th Halle final

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HALLE, Germany — Roger Federer defeated Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (5) to advance to the final of the Gerry Weber Open for the 11th time on Saturday.

Chasing his ninth title at the grass-court tournament, Federer was serving for the match when he was broken by the 21-year-old Russian. Khachanov then missed two set points before Federer took it to the tiebreaker.

“It was all a little uncertain because I don’t know him that well,” said Federer. “It’s warm, it’s hot, I’m a little bit tired. It was a difficult match.”

Federer saved four of the six break points he faced overall, while converting three of his five opportunities.

The 35-year-old Swiss will face fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev or Richard Gasquet in Sunday’s final.

Federer had a busy start to the year – winning at the Australian Open to take his 18th Grand Slam title – and his decision to skip the clay-court season to recuperate appears to be paying off with a view to Wimbledon, where he is a seven-time champion.

“Everything has been geared toward that for the past 12 months and I’m happy with how I feel at the moment,” Federer said.