Eye of The Tiger Helped Inspire Comeback

By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, September 2, 2022

Talking with Tiger helped Serena Williams restore the roar to her game.

The 40-year-old superstar played her most dynamic tennis of the season stopping world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2 to power into the US Open third round.

More: Serena Stops World No. 2 Kontaveit

Golf legend Tiger Woods was a vocal presence shouting support to Serena while sitting near older sister Venus in Williams’ support box. Afterward, Serena said talking tennis and comebacks with Tiger Woods helped fuel her motivation and provide clarity for her comeback.

“He’s one of the reasons I’m here, one of the main reasons I’m still playing,” Serena Williams told the media. “So we talked a lot. He was really trying to get me motivated. There’s a few people, but we were like, Okay, we can do this together, you know?

“It was good, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was just lost, so many questions. When you can rely on someone like that, I mean, my goodness, he’s Tiger Woods, it was really helpful to get clarity.”

Woods is a huge tennis fan and played tennis in his younger years. He’s also been a long-time presence at the US Open.

Tennis Express

Four-time Olympic gold-medal champion Serena is not the only tennis champion to draw inspiration from Tiger Woods.

Fellow former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal has called Woods his sporting hero and said he was deeply moved seeing Woods capture the 2019 Masters.

Avid golfer Nadal said watching Woods, win the Masters championship for his fifth green jacket and 15th major crown was an inspiring and emotional experience.

“It is amazing. He is probably my favorite sportsman in the world since a long time ago,” Nadal told the media in Monte Carlo back in 2019. “I know a little bit (on) how hard he has worked to be back. I was very emotional yesterday.”

In the past, Nadal said watching Woods will keep him up all night.

“Is not new that Tiger is one of the sportsmen that I admire the most,” Nadal told the media in Melbourne. “I stay until 2 in the evening if he’s playing always at home. I follow him every tournament that he plays. I love his attitude on the course.

“In some way, yes, he’s an inspiration. After all the things that happened to him, he’s able to fight back, he’s able to win again, is able to put him in a position that he can win majors again. That’s fantastic I think for the sport. That’s a great history.”

Like Woods, Nadal has battled injuries that side-tracked his career. The Grand Slam king said watching Woods is sporting pleasure.

“Like a sportsman, he’s one of the best that I ever seen in my life, and in a sport that I like a lot,” Nadal said. “So I just feel very lucky that I am having the chance to keep see him competing that well.”

Photo credit: Getty

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