Woods lags behind Federer despite title win
BETHESDA: Roger Federer seized a 15-14 lead over Tiger Woods in their bragging-rights battle of major crowns on Sunday as both superstars snagged titles on the same day for the second time in a month.
Swiss tennis icon Federer defeated Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 16-14 to win a sixth Wimbledon title and record 15th Grand Slam crown, surpassing the old mark of 14 he shared with Pete Sampras.
World number one Woods, a 14-time major golf champion and friend of Federer, won the PGA National by one stroke over Hunter Mahan for his third title of the year in his final tuneup for the British Open in two weeks at Turnberry.
Woods was on the practice range about 45 minutes before his tee time when he learned Federer won and texted him a congratulatory message - "Great job, now it's my turn," - then lived up to his plans by winning his own title." All three titles for Woods this year have come two weeks before majors, including one at his last US Open tuneup, the Memorial, on June 7, the same day Federer won his first French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam.
"His are a hell of a lot bigger than mine," Woods said. "He won two Slams and I won two tour events. Hopefully I can get the majors now." Woods stands four majors shy of matching the career record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus but will resume the quest to catch his boyhood idol, and Federer, in Scotland later this month and at next month's PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
Woods was watching the dramatic final set when the time came to begin preparing for his final round. He learned the score was 14-14 while on the practice green and was on the driving range when he learned Federer had won.
"It was kind of, 'Let's do it again today. That would be nice,'" Woods said.
Woods had already filmed a message of congratulations before the US Open.
Moments after Federer's victory, a television commercial by Nike aired with several star athletes offering congratulations, including Woods, who said, "Fifteen - not bad." The Swiss star, who will reclaim the world number one ranking, has won five US Opens, three Australian Opens and a French Open title in addition to six Wimbledons.
"Pretty impressive, isn't it?" Woods said.
Woods still likes his chances of finishing his career ahead of Federer in major titles, and not just Spanish star Rafael Nadal has been able to defeat Federer in several Slam finals.
"One good thing is our player career is a little bit longer than theirs, so I've got one good thing there," Woods said.
"But he is the greatest player that's ever played. I've talked to Pete (Sampras) about it, and it's just one of those things where he's so good on any surface. It doesn't matter.
"If Nadal wasn't around, he'd probably be the best clay courter on the planet. It's pretty impressive what he's done and the humbleness he's done it with."