DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Tiger Woods and Roger Federer used to have a friendly major rivalry. For the longest time both men hovered around the same number of major titles and would give each other the business when one would sneak ahead of the other.
It’s now a tally that Woods would rather not keep.
When Federer defeated Rafael Nadal last weekend to win the Australian Open it was his 18th major title, bringing more comparisons to Jack Nicklaus (18) than Woods (14).
But aside from the fact that Federer is now four ahead, Woods sees similarities in what Federer, at 35, has done to reinvent himself while remaining competitive against a growing, younger crop of talent.
“What Rog has done is he’s been dominant for so long, and then to compete against (Novak Djokovic), to compete against Rafa (Nadal); and now Andy (Murray) is playing well,” Woods said Wednesday at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. “He’s had a litany of guys who have won slams and no one wins slams at his age.
“He’s rehabbed properly and you can tell how fast he’s moving. He’s shortened up points, changed his strategy around a little bit. Didn’t hang around the baseline as long. I mean, as you get older, you change your game and you do things slightly differently. He did that.”