Roger Federer was not kidding about starting a boy band with tennis friends Grigor Dimitrov and Tommy Haas.
Earlier this year, while the trio was participating in the Australian Open — which Federer went on to win for his 18th Grand Slam title — they recorded a video of themselves singing Hard to Say I’m Sorry by the American rock band Chicago.
The video was uploaded on social media and was much talked about. Jokes were made about them having done it impromptu and that they were embarrassed but glad that their fans could see it.
Now, nearly two months later, Federer and friends got together to record the song once again, this time in a studio after better preparation.
And it turns out, they found a name for their new boy band — the One-handed Backhand Boys or just Backhand Boys for short.
Hass father-in-law lends a helping hand
Accompanying them with the piano is Grammy Award-winning music producer David Foster who had co-written the soft rock ballad they are singing and happens to be Haas’ father-in-law.
The Indian Wells tennis fans denied a chance to see Federer in action on Friday after Australian Nick Kyrgios pulled out of his quarter-final were treated instead to the Swiss great’s talents in the music department.
Federer turned out for a light-hearted on-court question and answer session to entertain spectators. It included the showing of the video.
However, Federer acknowledged the One-handed Backhand Boys probably still shouldn’t give up their day jobs. “So bad, yet so good,” was his assessment, and when asked if the Backhand Boys themselves might one day feature at the Grammys, he replied: “I don’t think so.”
There is a sense of light-hearted fun throughout the video as the trio nudges each other to take their singing cues, pretend to play a synchronised backhand shot like a dance move, and serenade Foster with their performance.
A special appearance is made by world No 2 Novak Djokovic, who is known to have a good sense of humour and has in the past performed impersonations of fellow tennis stars to entertain fans.
The “Djoker” as he was once dubbed sings a single line while the word “Videobomb” flashes across the screen.
The video posted by Federer in January had Dimitrov quite embarrassed as he was on his run to the semifinals of the Australian Open.
“I was lying in bed watching TV and all of a sudden I got that notification, Roger Federer has just posted. And I was like, ‘Oh no, please don’t tell me it’s this’. And I was like, ‘Oh great, thanks man’,” Dimitrov had said at the time.
Federer’s original video acknowledged that the three were not at their best and admitted it later when asked about it on court.
“We’re starting a boyband #NOTNSYNC @GrigorDimitrov @TommyHaas13 @officialdfoster,” Federer had captioned his video then.