Serena Williams hails Tiger Woods’ affect as she continues her US Open run

Serena Williams progressed to the third spherical of the US Open in what might be the ultimate singles match of her profession, beating Estonian second seed Anett Kontaveit 7-6 2-6 6-2 on Wednesday night.

Williams was buoyed and cheered on each level by the packed house crowd. That included Woods, who watched the drama unfold together with his companion, Erica Herman, from Williams’ participant’s field.

“It was a privilege to watch greatness. Congrats @serenawilliams,” the 15-time main champion tweeted after the match.

Later, Williams paid tribute to Woods and his affect over the later phases of her tennis profession.

“He’s one of the reasons I’m here, one of the main reasons I’m still playing,” she informed 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 one sporting nice to supply phrases of encouragement. “Not done yet @serenawilliams,” tweeted Steph Curry, whereas fellow NBA star Chris Paul mentioned he is “never seen anything like what Serena Williams is doing … I’m a fan and enjoying every minute.”
Having introduced final month that she is going to “evolve away from tennis” after this 12 months’s US Open, Williams’ farewell to tennis has clearly captured the creativeness of the broader sporting world and past.
“Thank you @SerenaWilliams for inspiring people around the world with your talent, grace, and determination both on and off the court,” tweeted Vice President Kamala Harris. “We celebrate all that you have been, all that you are, and all that is to come.”

Williams, bidding to win her twenty fourth grand slam singles title, will face Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday in what shall be her first third-round match at a grand slam since final 12 months’s French Open.

And regardless of her time away from the sport over the previous 12 months, the 40-year-old confirmed on Wednesday that she nonetheless has what it takes to beat high gamers on the planet. In line with ESPN, Williams has now gained 23 of her final 25 matches in opposition to gamers ranked inside the highest two — a run that stretches again to 2007.

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“I’m playing pretty good,” she mentioned. “I’ve been practicing really well, but it hasn’t been coming together in matches.

“However, you realize, now it is type of coming collectively, I suppose. I imply, I needed to carry it collectively in the present day. It labored out.”

Asked after the match if she could win the tournament, Williams said she “can’t suppose that far.” It would be her first grand slam title since the 2017 Australian Open and tie her with Margaret Court’s all-time singles record.

The boisterous crowds at Arthur Ashe Stadium have shown they’re prepared to will Williams in that direction over the course of her first two matches — an added challenge for anyone facing her.

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.

Williams has had raucous support from the crowds at this year's US Open.

“You may anticipate one thing, I noticed it from the earlier match,” Kontaveit told reporters about the partisan atmosphere. “However once you’re on the courtroom, I imply, it was onerous … It was one thing I by no means skilled earlier than.”

It remains unclear whether this will be the final tournament of Williams’ career.

She is also competing in the doubles competition alongside her sister Venus, and on Thursday, they play their opening match against Czech pair Linda Nosková and Lucie Hradecká.

With another packed crowd expected, Williams is partly savoring the opportunity to play in New York one more time and partly thinking about the task at hand.

“I believe these moments are clearly fleeting,” she said. “For me, it is actually about having a bit of embrace (of the event) but in addition understanding that I am right here to focus and do the very best that I can this time.”