Tiger Woods Says He and Roger Federer Still “Text All the Time”

by Tom Gainey | August 10th, 2011, 1:55 pm

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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13 Comments for Tiger Woods Says He and Roger Federer Still “Text All the Time”

madmax Says:

It’s not really any of our business whether Fed and Tiger are friends. The fact is that Fed deserves a private life, to which we shouldn’t be privy to. Who cares anyway whether they are or not?

Just want to see Fed play great tennis.

Jane, I think he does play Tsonga next in the third round.

Deborah Says:

the reason we should care is how ridiculous is it for Sports Illustrated to run a story with no sources named, not even unnamed sources cited, no evidence of first hand knowledge, just a declaration that the friendship was over. Last winter, someone asked Federer if he had any advice to give Woods and he said if he did, it wouldn’t be through the media. That should have been the end of it. This article was just an attempt to say, once again, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods no longer dominate their respective sports. It was an attempt to get those two names in an article because they can still generate more interest than the guys who have followed them to the top. It was the most cynical thing I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been following sports.

Kimberly Says:

my first post was going to be who cares, until I read the above comments which basically say the same.

RFFan Says:

Spot on Deborah; that story was a complete embarrassment to Sports Illustrated and Jon Wertheim.

The only “evidence” cited was that Elin spent an afternoon w/ the Feds over a year ago, before she even officially split w/ Tiger. It was all over the tabloids then,and no one thought that meant the end the Fed’s friendship w/ Tiger. It’s not like Tiger ever blamed Elin for anything anyway.

Now over a year later SI mentions it and it’s breaking news and a scoop on their part???

US Weekly does more accurate and timely reporting than that.

Lou Says:

I wonder why Si would do such a thing? They should focus more on the game rather than personal lives. I myself now have stopped reading SI as the story shows that it is for commercial purposes rather than for readers.
Anyways I am a huge fan of Roger and I still think that he can win GS and plus history also supports that. He is the new 30!
Will Roger Federer Bounce Back And The Myth of Age 30? http://bit.ly/mUlKHO

GO Roger!

funches Says:

Are you guys members of Woods’ family?

I’m not sure about the news value of the Woods-Fed note, but your overreaction to it is 100 times more ridiculous. The most cynical thing someone has ever read? You need to get out more, honey.

Alison Says:

So funches, it does not bother you that Sports Illustrated simply makes up their stories versus actually basing them on facts? Sorry, I don’t buy sports magazines to read works of fiction disguised as reporting.I think journalism at SI is nonexistent. Jon Wertheim should be ashamed of himself for writing lies as fact.

funches Says:


You assume they are lies based on what? Because Tiger said so. Really? You have no idea whether they are lies are not.

I actually was kind and gentle in my response compared to what I really thought about Deborah’s absurd screed.

Again, I’m not sure about the legitimacy of that particular story, but Wertheim is by far the best thing that has happened to tennis journalism in the last 20 years. He’s a terrific writer who could have covered anything he wanted but chose tennis even though it’s fallen off the average American’s sports radar. Check out his response to the anti-Federer letter at the beginning of his Si.com mailbag today and get back to me if you agree with Deborah that he is cynical.

Deborah Says:

My comment is concerned with publishing an article about two prominent athletes, where declarations are made without a single source, named or unnamed, using as evidence an incident that happened over a year ago. I think that’s transparent and cynical attempt to get folks to click on a story. What other reason could there be? The fact that neither of the two is number one in their sport is hardly news. I once had a great deal of respect for Wertheim as a tennis writer but publishing this kind of “story” with no source, not even, attributing it to locker room buzz is just silly. I don’t know whether he is cynical or not but this article was a cynical thing to do. All I can go by is what he did.

Deborah Says:

I read Wertheim’s mailbag and I don’t see what his response has to do with the article he wrote about Roger and Tiger’s friendship. Just as he stated, he calls Federer out when he thinks he’s wrong. I feel as a reader, I can do the same when a tennis pundit goes over the top.

evie Says:

I found the article odd when I read it because it was People-magazine-like pure speculation. It’s also odd because Wertheim has been in the press room with Federer dozens of times over the last year. Why wouldn’t he ask the simple question first?

madmax Says:

Boring posts. And what is Tom Gainey doing posting the article in the first place? Come on Tom. You are better than this!

Who cares about whether Tiger and Fed are friends? Got nothing to do with tennis. Boring.

Getting back to the tennis, Fed plays later tonight and I hope that he can get some revenge on Tsonga, though I like Tsonga as a player.

Kimberley, I cannot believe that nadal was knocked out today. I absolutely did not expect that in a million years.

Roger Federer: “I Have a Lot of Work to do Before the US Open” [Video] Says:

[…] Federer says he feels healthy, he’s playing playing better than he did in Montreal and he says he’s still in contact with Tiger Woods. And Roger adds that he has some things to work on before the US […]

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