“He’s one of many causes I’m right here,” Williams advised reporters after beating Anett Kontaveit in three units, “one of many fundamental causes I’m nonetheless taking part in.”
Woods was an enthusiastic supporter, too, delivering a classic Tiger fist pump when Williams’s victory was full and later tweeting, “It was a privilege to observe greatness.” However he was no strange fan.
With each of their legendary athletic careers winding down, Woods, 46, and Williams, 40, cast a relationship by which she turned to him as a mentor, she revealed lately in Vogue.
Williams had performed simply 4 matches prior to now 14 months, successful solely as soon as. Her final match earlier than the U.S. Open was a lopsided, error-strewn loss to 19-year-old Emma Raducanu on Aug. 16 that lasted simply 65 minutes. Her journey to Wimbledon this summer time ended with a first-round loss and an damage when she slipped on moist grass.
She was starting to mentally put together for what she calls her evolution to what’s subsequent — enterprise ventures and maybe including to a household that consists of 5-year-old daughter Olympia — however wasn’t fairly prepared to depart the game by which she turned professional as a 14-year-old. Enter Woods.
“I used to be speaking to Tiger Woods, who’s a pal, and I advised him I wanted his recommendation on my tennis profession. I stated, ‘I don’t know what to do: I believe I’m over it, however perhaps I’m not over [tennis],’” Williams advised Rob Haskell in Vogue. “He’s Tiger, and he was adamant that I be a beast the identical approach he’s!
“He stated, ‘Serena, what in case you simply gave it two weeks? You don’t need to decide to something. You simply exit on the court docket daily for 2 weeks and provides it your all and see what occurs.’ I stated, ‘All proper, I believe I can do this.’ ”
Williams stated she waited a month after which returned to the court docket, the place it “felt magical to choose up a racket once more.”
At that time, she stated she “was good. I used to be actually good. I went forwards and backwards about whether or not to play Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open after that. As I’ve stated, this entire evolution factor has not been simple for me.”
For now, her evolution is on maintain. Subsequent up on the U.S. Open is doubles Thursday evening along with her sister Venus. On Friday, she’ll play unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic and is aware of that, with the No. 2 participant out of the way in which, the draw favors her for some time as she makes an attempt to tie Margaret Courtroom’s file of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
“I do know there’s a fan fantasy that I may need tied Margaret that day in London [at Wimbledon], then perhaps beat her file in New York, after which on the trophy ceremony say, ‘See ya!’” Williams advised Vogue. “ … However I’m not in search of some ceremonial, last on-court second. I’m horrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst. However please know that I’m extra grateful for you than I can ever categorical in phrases. You’ve gotten carried me to so many wins and so many trophies. I’m going to overlook that model of me, that lady who performed tennis. And I’m going to overlook you.”