Last week Sports Illustrated ran a story proclaiming the end of the celebrated friendship between aging superstars Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. The two seemed to be genuine friends, often showing support for the other at events and trading bards as they pile up Slam hardware. But SI says that after the Woods fallout with his ex-wife their relationship has fallen apart.
Today, Woods was asked about directly about his relationship with Federer at a presser for the upcoming PGA Championships.
Tiger responded by saying that he and Roger are still “texting all the time” and “needling” each other just as they always have.
But in the August 8 article “The Thrill is Gone” with the sub-header “Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are no longer the best — or BFFs”, SI’s Jon Wertheim gave an entirely different slant writing, “When Federer speaks about Woods, he is, characteristically benign. … On the rare occasion Woods talks about something other than golf these days, it’s not to mention the text and needling his tennis-playing buddy.”
So which is it? Are they still close and in touch as Tiger says or is the friendship really over? And should we care?
Federer by the way won his first match in Montreal today easily defeating Vasek Pospisil 75, 63. And Federer still leads Woods overall in their Majors chase 16-14.
Here’s the text of Tiger’s presser specific to Federer:
Q. Since I also write for professional tennis, I hope you don’t mind the question. I was wondering if you’ve had the chance to catch up with your friend Roger Federer lately. He just celebrated his 30th birthday Monday.
TIGER WOODS: Uh-huh, he’s old now, isn’t he? All of 30 years old, wow.
No, Fed and I, we text all the time, still — he’s been a great friend over the years, and we’re always needling each other all the time. I think he’s in Montreal this week playing. We’ve been trying to keep up with each other.
Every tournament he plays in, every tournament I play in, which I haven’t been playing a whole lot, so I’ve been watching a lot of his events. It’s good to see him play, and unfortunately Wimbledon just didn’t quite work out for him.
But he’s feeling fit, and I think that’s the thing; he feels good. He just needs to get on a little bit of a run. And the U.S. Open is coming up; I think he’s going to do really well. He’s always had success on hard courts, so it’s going to be fun to watch.
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