Nadal, who has won three of his 18 major titles at Flushing Meadows, will be playing in his 40th career Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Earlier, Nadal ramped up his quest for a fourth US Open title with an impressive win over 2014 champion Marin Cilic to advance to the quarter-finals while Alexander Zverev slumped to a four-set defeat.
After barely breaking a sweat in reaching the last 16, a run that included a second-round walkover, Rafael Nadal stared down his stiffest test so far to surge into a quarter-final meeting with Argentine 20th seed Diego Schwartzman.
Afterward, the two put on an impromptu show for ESPN, with Tiger gazing fondly from the stands as Nadal did his post-match interview on the court.
"For me, it's a big pleasure to have him here supporting".
A blistering cross-court backhand passing victor off a Cilic overhead elicited a fired-up fist-pump from Woods, who was equally appreciate of an outrageous round-the-netpost forehand that brought up match point.
"It's a big pleasure to have him here, he's one of the greats of sport and I want to congratulate him on one of the most awesome comebacks in sport, winning the Masters this year", Nadal said, suggesting his own golf game lagged far behind his ability with a racquet. He's a big legend of sport, one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. I had my chances against him in many matches, but I haven't been able to win against him. "Maybe he can lose a little bit of rhythm after that", said Nadal, who attended Tiger's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas two years ago.
But the three-time champion quickly shrugged it off to march into the last eight, with a stunning around-the-net victor bringing up match point to the delight of Woods. 'I don't know, I think I followed the ball good because he had a good volley and I saw it. I know it's a weapon in my game. "I hit it well, but to hit that spot you need some luck".