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Roger Federer backs Tiger Woods to return to golf soon

Roger Federer
Roger Federer has appeared in TV commercials with Tiger Woods

Tennis star Roger Federer has revealed he has been in touch with Tiger Woods and hopes the world's number one golfer will be back competing soon.

Woods has announced he is taking an indefinite break from professional golf after admitting to "infidelities".

Federer is one of the few to speak to Woods since the media furore over the American's private life erupted.

"I wish him all the best getting back, hopefully on the golf course, resolving his problems," said the 28-year-old.

The 15-time Grand Slam winner, who has appeared with his friend Woods in TV commercials, refused to be drawn further on the scandal surrounding the American, saying he had only followed events "from afar".

Woods's personal life hit the headlines last November when he crashed a car into a tree outside his Florida home.

After weeks of press speculation, the 14-times golf major winner then released a statement on his website admitting to "infidelity" and has not been seen in public since the car accident.

Tiger needs calm. And soon he'll become the wonderful golfer that we know again

Roger Federer

Federer said he did not feel any added pressure to lead an unblemished life, revealing it was important for him to uphold the principles of fair play, respect for the game and his rivals.

"I just try to be myself, not change for the press or the public or the fans," he added.

"If they like me, that's great. If they don't, that's too bad.

"Sure, I'm doing a lot of press conferences, and not being able to hide on the tennis court is not an easy thing sometimes. But I think I've done well over the years."

Woods has lost a number of endorsements since the infamous car crash, with Gillette announcing on 12 December that it would limit Woods's role in its marketing while the champion took time off to deal with his personal life.

Two days later the giant management consultancy firm Accenture ended its sponsorship with Woods, saying the golfer was "no longer the right representative".

Telecoms giant AT&T and the watchmaker Tag Heuer have scaled down its use of the star, while drinks manufacturer Gatorade discontinued a line of Tiger Woods-branded energy drinks.

A recent University of California study suggested the total economic damage of the Woods incident to all involved parties could amount to as much as $12bn.

Tiger Woods (left) Roger Federer
Tiger Woods has not been seen in public since his car accident

In an interview published on Friday by French sports daily L'Equipe, Federer said Woods "needs calm".

"The tabloids are going crazy, sponsor contracts are falling apart ... I've always been aware that the image you patiently construct for an entire career can be ruined in a minute," stated Federer.

"It scares you a bit, but that's the way things are.

"Tiger needs calm. And soon he'll become the wonderful golfer that we know again."

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see also
Nicklaus warning for absent Woods
10 Jan 10 |  Golf
Woods wins PGA Tour player award
19 Dec 09 |  Golf
Tag Heuer 'to drop Woods image'
18 Dec 09 |  Americas
PGA bullish despite Woods absence
17 Dec 09 |  Golf
Woods named Athlete of the Decade
18 Dec 09 |  Golf
Woods loses key sponsorship deal
14 Dec 09 |  Americas
Tiger Woods takes break from golf
12 Dec 09 |  Americas
Woods admits letting family down
02 Dec 09 |  Americas
Golfer Woods hurt in US car crash
28 Nov 09 |  Golf

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