Rafael Nadal has 'Woods' Tiger Woods roaring at the US Open

NEW YORK: Rafael Nadal called Tiger Woods an incredible inspiration since the Spanish roared the golf superstar with approval during a majestic United States Open performance on monday.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion advanced to the quarterfinals of an important 40th time in his brilliant career with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Croatian Marin Cilic.

But it was the reaction of Woods, winner of 15 golf tournaments, to a variety of sensational Nadal winners during a crucial section of the game that attracted attention at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

A backhand stroke that crossed the court crossing a shot of Cilic over his head caused a shot fired from Woods, who also appreciated a scandalous right-wing hit in the net that brought the match point.

It means a lot to me to support it. As I said, it is an incredible inspiration, all the things he achieves in the sport, the way he managed to keep fighting so hard, Nadal said.

Looking at the golf course has been an example, a true inspiration for me. (Having) to support him and be in touch with him very often for me is something that I am super happy and I hope one day we can play golf and tennis together.

Nadal, who like Woods has endured more than his fair share of injury nightmares, looked healthy and hungry at Flushing Meadows, where he is chasing a fourth United States Open title after 2010, 2013 and 2017.

"The emotions I have when I play here are impossible to describe. I love the sport and feel very lucky to still be playing tennis here. Eight to 10 years ago, I didn't think that would happen as my body was suffering badly," Nadal said.

It is a great honor to play in front of all of you and playing in front of Tiger is something very special. I always say that I don't have big idols, but an idol is him and I always try to follow him.

Woods made a successful return to first-level golf in 2018, winning the Tour Championship at the end of the season after missing most of the previous two years due to a debilitating back injury.

In April, he won his 15th major after completing a memorable victory at the Masters, his first major win since the 2008 United States Open .

It is a great pleasure to have him here, he is one of the greats of the sport and I want to congratulate him for one of the most incredible returns in the sport, to win the Masters this year, said Nadal, suggesting that his own game of golf was very late. behind his skill with a racket.

It's much better if Tiger doesn't see my swing. Maybe he would lose a bit of rhythm after that.

Nadal could face an old rival Roger Federer in a box office final, in what would be a meeting for the first time in New York, but first the second seed must then beat the Argentinean Diego Schwartzman of 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m), which cut the sixth seed Alexander Zverev .

He's playing amazing, nothing new, he's one of the best talented players on the tour, Nadal said of his next opponent.

It will be a great challenge. I have to play the best I can. I am happy for him. He is a close friend and I hope to play a great game.