Federer on Tiger: It’s hard to watch

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Swiss tennis star Roger Federer admits that it’s “been hard to watch” his friend Tiger Woods struggle lately.

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer admits that it’s “been hard to watch” his friend Tiger Woods struggle lately.

Federer and Woods struck up a friendship a few years back as both were hunting their respective all-time grand slam/major records.

Federer was trying to surpass Pete Sampras’ record of 14 grand slam wins, which he finally did by equalling the record at the 2009 French Open, and then surpassing it a few months later at Wimbledon.

Woods was hunting Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships. He won his 14th at the 2008 U.S. Open, but hasn’t won another one since, with Nicklaus’ record seeming stronger and harder to surpass with every passing day that Woods shows few signs of being the player he once was.

And for Federer, at least, it’s been hard to watch.

“It’s hard to follow, because you know what an athlete wants to do,” he said. “He wants to be out there and compete and that’s what he’s not able to do with his injuries right now,” Federer said on Saturday after his third-round win at the U.S. Open.

He said that he and Woods spoke briefly over the phone earlier in the week.

At the time that both men were the undisputed masters of their chosen sports, they were also represented by the same agency and even worked together on the same ad campaign for Gillette. When Federer won the 2006 U.S. Open, Woods was in his guest box to watch him win, and they shared a celebratory toast afterwards.

But since then so much has changed for Woods – damaging revelations about his personal life became public, leading to divorce, and numerous injury problems have prevented him from performing as he’d like to on the course.

“It’s been tough for him the last year. He knows that,” Federer added. “It’s been hard to watch. I only wish him the best.”

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