PARIS (AP) Roger Federer says he's spoken to his friend Tiger Woods by phone and predicts he will be back soon "as the wonderful golfer we know."
The tennis star said in an interview published Friday that Woods' car accident in November and subsequent reports about his private life have been hard on the golfer and his family.
Federer told French sports daily L'Equipe that he expressed his support, and said Woods' troubles were "instructive."
"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," Federer said. "It scares you a bit, but that's the way things are."
Woods has not played since winning the Australian Masters on Nov. 15. Two weeks later, he ran his SUV into a tree outside of his Florida home in the middle of the night, and allegations of rampant affairs soon followed. He confessed to "infidelity" and said Dec. 11 he would take a break from golf to focus on becoming a better husband, father and person.
Woods hasn't been seen in public since the accident, and other friends have said they have tried - unsuccessfully - to reach him.
"Tiger needs calm. And soon he'll become the wonderful golfer that we know again," Federer said.