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The passion and competitive nature of Tiger Woods seemed as strong as ever as the golf icon cheered on Serena Williams at the US Open. The 15-time major champion was in the stands at Flushing Meadows as Williams kept her hopes – and career – alive at Flushing Meadows with a dramatic three-set win over second seed Anett Kontaveit.
Last month Williams, 40, confirmed she would be ‘evolving away from tennis’ after the Grand Slam in New York, leading to a surge in ticket sales with fans clamouring to see the all-time great in action one last time. And after starting up with a routine win over Danka Kovinic, her latest gritty success has got supporters believing a fairytale finish to her career is possible.
And one such believer is clearly Woods, who was at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday to support his fellow American. Indeed, camera footage showed a passionate Woods regularly fist-pumping and cheering as the contest became intense.
A clip of golf’s biggest star clapping and vociferously shouting was posted on Twitter by the @TWlegion account, and in just an hour had racked up over 600 likes from delighted followers. Sure enough, seeing evidence of the fire still burning in Woods, 46, albeit away from a golf course, was well received.
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“Greatness in the presence of greatness. You love to see it,” wrote @LockDownLouv2, while @BarstoolBanks added:”This clip has me so fired up I can’t even sit.” @jake_peck said: “He may be the only one there that truly gets it.”
Moments after the match finished, Woods himself tweeted: “It was a privilege to watch greatness. Congrats @serenawilliams.” And in her post-match press conference, Williams admitted she’d held discussions with her fellow star before making the decision to return: “Yeah, he’s one of the reasons I’m here, one of the main reasons I’m still playing,” she said. “So we talked a lot. He was really trying to get me motivated.”
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There is one striking similarity between Woods and Williams, with both considered the greatest of all time in their chosen sports. However, both lie second in their quest to win the most major titles in history.
Woods has 15 to his name, three short of the legendary Jack Nicklaus. Williams meanwhile, needs to win her farewell Slam to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24.
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