Twenty-three Grand Slam Champions Serena Williams has hailed Tiger Woods influence especially towards the later
part of her tennis career. Woods was among creme de la creame of the society who turned out to watch the American tennis idol especially following her hint on retirement. Many have thought it wise to see her once more do what she knows how to do best at the on going US Open where she has already hit the third round beating Estonian second seed Anett Kontaveit 7-6 2-6 6-2 on Wednesday evening.
Williams was buoyed and cheered on every point by the packed home crowd. That included Woods, who watched the drama unfold with his partner, Erica Herman, from Williams’ player’s box.
“It was a privilege to watch greatness. Congrats @serenawilliams,” the 15-time major champion tweeted after the match.
Later, Williams paid tribute to Woods and his influence over the later stages of her tennis career.
“He’s one of the reasons I’m here, one of the main reasons I’m still playing,” she told reporters. “We talked a lot. He was really trying to get me motivated. There are a few people, but we were like: ‘OK, we can do this together, you know?’”
Woods wasn’t the only sporting great to offer words of encouragement. “Not done yet @serenawilliams,” tweeted Steph Curry, while fellow NBA star Chris Paul said he’s “never seen anything like what Serena Williams is doing I’m a fan and enjoying every minute.”
Having announced last month that she will “evolve away from tennis” after this year’s US Open, Williams’ farewell to tennis has clearly captured the imagination of the wider sporting world and beyond.
In Williams’ opening match against Danka Kovinić on Monday, 29,402 fans were in attendance — a record for an evening session on the US Open’s main show court.