‘Hard Work is the Epitome of Why Tiger is So Good’: Tennis G.O.A.T Serena Williams Once Appreciated Tiger Woods During His Hall of Fame Induction

Published 08/14/2022, 7:30 AM EDT
Golf – 150th Open Championship – St Andrews, Scotland, Britain – July 10, 2022 Tiger Woods of the U.S. during a practice round REUTERS/Paul Childs

Serena Williams is considered one of the Greatest tennis players to grace the court. The winner of 23 Grand Slam titles recently announced that the upcoming US Open will be her last. In her words, Serena said she was ‘evolving’ out of the sport, a decision she felt reluctant to admit. However, the 2012 Olympic Gold medalist mentioned that this decision was taken into consideration by none other than Golf legend, Tiger Woods, who happened to give Serena some ‘magical’ advice.

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But did you know that the two of the greatest sporting idols are actually friends? Williams was also seen in PGA’s special tribute video on Tiger Woods’ legacy and had kind words for the golf icon.

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What did Serena Williams say about Tiger Woods?

In March this year, the PGA Tour gathered around some of the most celebrated US athletes on the occasion of Woods’ induction to the Hall of Fame. The famed list included the most decorated Olympian of all time Michael Phelps, 3-time NFL Championship winner Jerry Rice, and the aforementioned Serena Williams. The video also contained snippets from the legends of golf itself, with 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus and women’s flag bearer Annika Sorenstam showering praise on Woods. Williams opened the sequence, asserting what separated Woods from the rest.

“I think of people that are really the best at what they do,” she said. “Hard Work is the Epitome of Why Tiger is So Good.”

Williams also recalled her first interaction with Woods. “When I first met Tiger, I honestly didn’t think we would be friends. I was just honestly in awe with him.”

“Like he is Tiger Woods. He was competing against everyone and he looked like me,” she further added.

What did Woods say to Williams about her retirement?

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In her article in Vogue, Williams mentioned Woods’ piece of advice. “I was talking to Tiger Woods, who’s a friend, and I told him I needed his advice on my tennis career,” she cited.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2022 Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after losing her first round match against France’s Harmony Tan REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

“He’s Tiger, and he was adamant that I be a beast the same way he is! He said, Serena, what if you just gave it two weeks? 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.”

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However, Serena didn’t commit to Tiger’s advice initially. She tried it out a month later, and the result was spell-bounding. “But a month later, I gave it a try. And it felt magical to pick up a racket again. And I was good. I was really good. I went back and forth about whether to play Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open after that,” she said.

Watch this story: Golf King Tiger Woods vs Swimming Legend Michael Phelps Investment comparison

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Sharan Nair

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