(CNN) -- Tennis ace Roger Federer has given his unfailing support to his "good friend" Tiger Woods as the embattled golfer attempts to restore his reputation.
Federer believes the "worst has passed" for Tiger after his very public apology to a world wide television audience.
Woods fought back the tears as he admitted he had cheated on his wife Elin, but surprised observers by not setting any date for his return to golf ahead of major tournaments later this year, although he subsequently announced he would return for the U.S. masters in April.
But Federer told The Gulf News that whatever the future held, Woods would remain his friend.
"What's happened to him has been hard to watch over the last three months right down to when he made his apology. I am sure he's headed in a better direction now," he added.
Federer, who has appeared in a well-known advertisement for Gillette with Woods and football star Thierry Henry, went on:
"The worst has passed. I hope that he can also work things out with his wife Elin because they are very nice people - obviously for the sake of their kids as well."
But Federer admitted he had not spoken to Woods since the November car crash which set in chain a stream of revelations about the American's private life.
"I have supported him, but I haven't had any contact with him," added the Swiss maestro, who was forced to withdraw from the Dubai Open with a lung infection which is set to sideline him for several weeks.
"It's been hard to watch from far away but I would love to see him back on the golf course. It is what he does best," added the 16-time grand slam winner.