Federer's backboard challenge sparks friendly competition online

Federer's backboard challenge sparks friendly competition online

Players are finding creative ways to compete while providing entertainment, as Andy Murray joined in by launching the 100 Volley Challenge with wife Kim.

Fun and games for everyone all started earlier this week when Roger Federer put on a white fedora hat and elegantly debuted the backboard challenge. The 20-time Grand Slam champion encouraged the tennis world and a host of public figures, including Tom Brady, Trevor Noah and Justin Timberlake, to put their reflexes to the test. 

Among the names Federer specifically asked to join in included Andy Roddick, but the 2003 US Open champion didn't take the bait.

"I'd do the backboard challenge, but as you know as well as anyone, I don't like to volley," Roddick tweeted. 

Federer responded, "Why do you only tell me now, I had no idea," in between a pair of emojis: a face with tears and eyes rolling. 

"It feels like it was dripping with sarcasm a little bit. I'm pretty sure he knew the entire time that I'm a bit of a butcher at the net," said Roddick during Friday's TC Live.

The joke was a likely reference to when the American had the opportunity to go up two sets to love in the 2009 Wimbledon final against the Swiss star, but couldn't make a high-backhand volley into the open court. 

"Let me know if there’s a chip/push a backhand and hope someone misses, while holding serve routinely challenge” Roddick responded jokingly on Twitter.  

Although Roddick turned down Federer, Sofia Kenin, Novak Djokovic, Coco Gauff and others jumped at the opportunity. Andy and Kim Murray kept the fun rolling when they published their 100 volley challenge. The couple failed to execute on their first attempt but quickly got the job done.

"I can't be the only one who wants to see Rog and Mirka hitting a few balls together," Murray posted on his social media accounts.

 

Federer has yet to accept, citing his wife's shyness on social media, but along with Murray, much of the tennis world will be hoping to see a video from the backboard king.

"I don't anticipate we'll see Andy and Brooklyn doing this," said Jim Courier on TC Live.

"I tried to teach Brooklyn tennis one time," said Roddick. "It ended up 10 minutes later with a broken racquet and she said what do you know about this anyways." 

These challenges are not only evoking friendly competition, but show that sport can still unite the world even in the most difficult of times.