Serena Williams hails Tiger Woods’ influence as she continues her US Open run.
Her record-breaking performance at Flushing Meadows last week had the tennis world talking – the US Open is the biggest tournament of the year, after all. But it has proved to be a distraction for Serena who has been the talk of the town ever since a seemingly perfect victory over Osaka in January.
But after a week of triumphs on the Centre Court, she’s now been forced to watch her all-time rival in action again. And her reaction after seeing Woods on her way back to the locker room is quite different from her usual, impudent, “this is great” or “wow” reaction.
Williams said that after watching Woods’ victory over Argentina in the Davis Cup semi-finals last Sunday, she was overcome with emotion and felt like crying. She described him as the most inspirational figure she had ever seen.
“He’s so intense. He’s so passionate. He can get in the zone, he can talk about that game and it’s beautiful,” she said, according to ESPN. “It’s not like a politician. He just does it.”
It was something she has never seen before, a US Open champion who plays sports as if he plays a game and not just a job.
The 33-year-old is currently leading the race for a record-equalling 16th major title. He lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic, whose record-scratching win over Dominic Thiem in the next round had the entire tennis world on its feet. Djokovic has not won a major since 2008 and could now not be happier to not have to play a top seeded Williams for a spot in the final.
But despite not being able to beat Djokovic, she is looking forward to seeing him play again in the French Open.
And she said she thought the loss to Djokovic will be just as historic for women’s tennis as the major title win: