He Is Incredible: Serena Williams reveals Tiger Woods was behind her return to…

Serena Williams hailed the influence of Tiger Woods after the golfing great persuaded her to return to the court and then cheered her on to victory over second seed Anett Kontaveit at the US Open.
This was a sparkling performance from the veteran, who produced her best tennis since reaching the Australian Open semi-finals last January to win 7-6 (4) 2-6 6-2 and reach the third round.

The dream ending – a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title in her final tournament – is still a long way away, but this display showed that it might just be a possibility.
Williams revealed in the Vogue essay announcing her ‘evolution’ away from tennis that Woods had given her advice on whether to have one final crack.

She said of the golfing great on Wednesday: ‘He’s one of the reasons I’m here, one of the main reasons I’m still playing. We talked a lot. He was really trying to get me motivated.
‘There’s a few people, but we were like, ‘OK, we can do this together’. 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.’

Coming back to the sport is certainly looking a wise move now, and Williams, who next faces Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, clearly believes she has more to offer.
‘It’s no rush here,’ she said. ‘I’m loving this crowd. There’s still a little left in me. We’ll see.
‘I’m a pretty good player, this is what I do best. I love a challenge and I’m rising to the challenge.

‘I haven’t played many matches, but I’ve been practising really well. The last couple of matches it’s come together.

‘After I lost the second set I thought, ‘I’ve got to give my best effort because this could be it’.
‘I’m just looking at it as a bonus. I don’t have anything to lose. I’ve had an X on my back since 1999. I really enjoy just coming out and enjoying it.’

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