American tennis player Tennys Sandgren has declined the challenge set out by his coach, Michael Russell, who is a former ATP pro player himself. Russell, who was known to be one of the fittest players on the tour while he played, had posted a challenge on his Instagram account in late March where he is seen doing one-handed pushups while hitting a ping pong ball.
While speaking on Tennis Channel, the world no.
55 said he has no plans to try Russell's challenge. "He's probably in better shape than 80 percent of the tour players right now. Honestly, I don't know what he was doing posting this. "First of all, I think he's lost his mind...Secondly, I'm not doing that, OK? That's an embarrassingly strong feat of strength to do this and hit ping-pong balls.
“While I’m impressed with my coach here, no, I decline, thank you”. Russell reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 60 in August 2007. After retiring, he started Michael Russell Tennis, a private tennis coaching business in 2015.
He also has coached Frances Tiafoe, Ryan Harrison, Sam Querrey, Taylor Fritz and Mackenzie McDonald through USTA Player Development.