Serena Williams hails Tiger Woods’ influence as she continues her US Open run
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Serena Williams says she “can’t believe” she has played in eight Grand Slam finals only to have the man who has inspired her career, her coach, and her mother, to reach the same milestone this week.
Williams was still struggling with a hip injury when she reached the championship round at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow, New York, on Friday. Now, she has reached the quarter-finals for the first time in her career and will play Serena Stakakova of Belarus.
Williams and Woods, who has dominated the female game with wins at the majors, are among a group of top athletes who may have the potential to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in the coming year.
Woods has been the greatest player of his generation since he won his second major at the Masters in April and a third at the US Open at Merion in August.
He could make history at next month’s US Open with a sixth title at the famed tournament in New York, a feat that has not been achieved in 40 years.
A year after Williams became the first American woman to reach the prestigious event, she is arguably its most famous, with her fame stemming from the hits she has produced in a career that has spanned more than 30 years, and that has included the greatest Slam in tennis history.
Woods has followed in his father’s footsteps. Bob and Rose’s legendary legacy includes four Australian Open titles, five U.S. Open titles, a record-extending 10 consecutive Grand Slam titles, and four major wins, the last coming in 2005 in his last year at age 25.
Williams was the last American women to lift the trophy at the US Open, in 1996. The only American women to have won at the tournament since that time were Suzanne “The Ice Queen” Lenglen in 1985 and Serena herself in 2006.
She has not won since at the China Open in Beijing and has had just one top-10 at the Australian since moving to Australia in 2009 to take over Williams’ No. 1 ranking.