'Tiger over the worst'

DUBAI - Roger Federer says the worst is over for his good friend Tiger Woods and hopes to see him back on the golf course, local reports said yesterday.

"Tiger is a good friend of mine," Federer told The Gulf News. "What's happened to him has been hard to watch over the past three months, right down to when he made his apology. I am sure he's headed in a better direction now. The worst has passed."

On Friday, a sombre and composed Woods faced the world for the first times since he crashed his car into a tree outside his family home three months ago, setting off shocking allegations of rampant extramarital relationships.

He admitted he cheated on his wife and said he was "deeply sorry", but did not say if and when he will play golf again. "It's been hard to watch from far away, but I would love to see him back on the golf course," Federer was quoted as saying.

"It's what he does best."

Federer was in the Gulf city-state to play in the Dubai Championships. The top-ranked tennis star, a four-time winner in Dubai, pulled out of the tournament on Sunday because of a lung infection. - Sapa-AP