Tiger’s supporting the G.O.A.T!
The 18-time World Golf Champion and his girlfriend, Erica Herma, were spotted sitting alongside Serena’s sister, tennis star Venus Williams, at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday, August 31, where the younger Williams sibling defeated Estonian tennis player Anett Kontaveit, ranked number two in the world, in just three sets.
“He’s one of the reasons I’m here,” Serena told reporters of Tiger’s presence after securing the win, dubbing the golf icon “one of the main reasons I’m still playing.”
The tennis star, who is set to step back from the sport following the conclusion of the states-based tournament later this month, revealed Tiger offered her some valuable words of wisdom as she contemplated her retirement, encouraging her to give tennis one final go.
"I said, 'I don't know what to do: I think I'm over it, but maybe I'm not over [tennis],'" Serena recalled of her discussion with the golf icon in an essay for Vogue. "He's Tiger, and he was adamant that I be a beast the same way he is!”
As such, the 23-time Grand Slam title holder said Tiger, who has faced several moments of athletic adversity, including a roll-over car crash in February 2021, encouraged her to work out her conflicting emotions on the tennis court.
“He said, 'Serena, what if you just gave it two weeks?'” the athlete remembered. “'You don't have to commit to anything. You just go out on the court every day for two weeks and give it your all and see what happens.' I said, 'All right, I think I can do that.'"
And it seems Tiger was onto something.
"I was good. I was really good," Serena wrote of heeding this advice, adding that it "felt magical to pick up a racket again." She would later go on to compete at Wimbledon in June before vying for the title of the 2022 U.S. Open champion.
People previously reported on Tiger's appearance at the match.