John McEnroe insists Serena Williams should be seeded at Wimbledon

first_imgBut, despite flashes of enlightenment, the All England Club is a tough establishment nut to crack. Last week they denied Dan Evans a wildcard – in the main draw and qualifying – even though his ban for taking cocaine last year ended in April, since when he has won 20 of 24 matches, 14 on grass, the most by any British player this summer. After coming through a pre-qualifying tournament, Evans needs three more wins at Roehampton this coming week to confront his doubters at Wimbledon.There remains the small matter of the unfortunate fixture clash on Sunday 15 July, when the men’s final bumps up against the World Cup final in Russia. The BBC is understood to be lobbying behind the scenes for Wimbledon to bring forward its starting time an hour to 1pm, to lessen the impact on ratings for the football, which starts at 4pm. The response has been muted but common sense may yet prevail.Meanwhile, McEnroe is going in to bat for Williams. “I don’t think there would be a player that would complain, especially the top ones, if she was one of the top eight. Why in the world would they want to play her in the first, second, third round? Nor should they, in my opinion.”The core issue has been whether Williams or any player should be seeded when returning to the Tour after pregnancy. On Saturday Katrina Adams, the president and chair of the United States Tennis Association, told the New York Times that such players should not be “penalised” for starting a family.As for the argument that seeding Williams might be unfair to the player edged out of the top 32 – which the British No 1, Jo Konta, thinks ought to be considered – McEnroe says: “What’s her name? No offence. You’re talking about Serena.”McEnroe said the first day Williams played in the French Open last month, ratings on NBC were “50% more than a year ago”. He added: “It’s like Tiger Woods when he came back. All of a sudden it’s top of the ratings. Forget the fact that she has won 23 majors and what she brings to the table. I’m sorry, I apologise to the 32nd player in the world. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. I just don’t think it’s right to think that way.” news Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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Share on Facebook Read more The wise burghers of Wimbledon are treading delicately through a few moral minefields before the 150th championships, which begin on Monday week, but John McEnroe is adamant about one thing: the seven-times champion Serena Williams should be seeded.The tournament seedings committee, on which the former champion sits, will decide on Tuesday whether Williams – ranked 183 in the world as she continues her comeback after having her first child last September – should be included among the top 32 entrants in the women’s singles draw. Asked where he would rank his 36-year-old compatriot at Wimbledon, McEnroe said: “Somewhere between one and 10 – one and 16 at the worst.” Wimbledon Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Topics Share on LinkedIncenter_img Reuse this content Tennis John McEnroe Share via Email Serena Williams The Observer Roger Federer: the more we love him, the nicer he becomes Share on Messenger Roger Federer: Serena Williams may well be best overall tennis player ever Share on Twitter Wimbledon 2018 Elsewhere, Andy Murray, who gave Nick Kyrgios three tough sets in his first match in 342 days in the first round of the Fever-Tree Championships on Tuesday, will decide about Wimbledon after he has played at Eastbourne – where he has drawn Stan Wawrinka in the first round, with the winner playing Kyle Edmund. That’s one tough draw.At Queen’s on Saturday, Kyrgios added 16 aces to the 82 he had served this week but lost concentration in the tie-breaks as Marin Cilic went through to his fourth final, winning 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) in an hour and 26 minutes. “I was a little more composed in these situations,” the No 1 seed said.Cilic plays Novak Djokovic, who looked strangely out of sorts but found enough to beat Jérémy Chardy, 7-6 (5), 6-4. “I was very pleased to go through to the finals. Every tournament I am hoping I can play the way I know I can play.” It was a low-key reaction after playing some brilliant tennis. It should be an excellent final.In Halle, a below-par Roger Federer had to fight hard to win his 20th match in a row on grass, beating the world No 109, Denis Kudla, 7-6 (1), 7-5. He goes for his décima in Sunday’s final against Borna Coric, who got a walkover from the injured Roberto Bautista Agut. The world No 1 has struggled for rhythm this week but will surely turn up at Wimbledon in good shape to defend his title.last_img