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Federer gets nervous with Tiger in the house

Written by: Staff
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NEW YORK, Sep 11 (Reuters) Roger Federer has won nine of his 10 grand slam finals but the 25-year-old Swiss said he was nervous playing in front of his new friend Tiger Woods.

The world number one golfer attended the US Open final as Federer's guest, sitting in the front row of the players' box to watch him beat American Andy Roddick yesterday.

Federer said despite all the pressure surrounding the grand slam tournament final, he was aware of Woods's presence.

''You get that feeling. It's like maybe the first time your parents see you do something special, or somebody comes to you, you really maybe look up to,'' Federer told reporters.

''For me, it's like when I go out there and I see Tiger sitting there, it's like, I try to play well, you know? I try to kind of get my act together and focus and get off to a good start.'' Federer did just that, taking the first set from Roddick in 29 minutes to set the tone for his victory.

The Swiss said he and Woods, who has dominated golf in much the same way as he has ruled tennis, had been trying to arrange a get together for some time.

''More and more often, over the last year or so I've been kind of compared to Tiger, what he's doing on the golf tour, me doing on the tennis tour. So today was kind of the day where finally we got to meet and chat a little longer.

''For me it's very nice to get to meet him finally after all the time we've been trying to get to see each other,'' said Federer. ''You would think that we would get a chance to see each other. Our schedules, they collide.'' INTERESTING TALK Woods told Federer he would travel to New York if he reached the final and the Swiss said they had an interesting talk in the locker room before the match.

''I asked him how it was for him. It's funny because many things were similar,'' Federer said.

''He knew exactly how I kind of felt out on the court.

''That's something that I haven't felt before, you know, a guy who knows how it feels to feel invincible at times and when you just have the feeling like there's nothing going wrong any more.'' Federer said the way he demolished Roddick in the fourth and final set, allowing the American only 13 points as he clinched his ninth grand slam title, was similar to how Woods shuts the door on his rivals when he has a lead on Sundays.

Woods also gave Federer's parents a thrill by talking on the phone to them.

''My parents are great golfers, so he was nice enough to talk to them, as well, over the phone. They're not in bed yet, so it was great,'' Federer said.

With his US Open victory, Federer moved within five of the record total of 14 won by Pete Sampras. Woods, who won the last two golf majors, the British Open and PGA Championship, has 12 major titles, six short of Jack Nicklaus's record of 18.

Federer said he has been invited to return the favour and watch Woods go to work at a golf major.

''I'm going to go to each Masters, each grand slam he plays and get him back.'' REUTERS PDS KP1044

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