Tennis stars raise $4.8 million for bushfire aid

Ross Houston
January 16, 2020

World No. 1 Nadal made the announcement at Melbourne Park's Rod Laver Arena during the "Rally for Relief" event where top players including American Serena Williams and Australian Open defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia led fundraising efforts.

A full house at the arena watched Federer defeat Kyrgios 7-6 (8-6) as the centrepiece of Wednesday night's event.

Stars including Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev also played Fast Four doubles at the event that helped to raise nearly $4.8 million.

Fundraisers for the Australian Open have already been launched to raise money and awareness of the floods in Queensland in 2011, and Federer said he was once again happy to inform some people around the world of Australia's current plight.

Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios pose with firefighter Alistair Mason at the Rally for Relief.

"We've had some epic matches over the years and this was fun ... it wasn't about winning and losing".

"Twenty years this has been my home and I've had so many great matches on this court and in this country", said Williams, whose young daughter Alexis Olympia was thrilled to meet some firefighters this week.

The ATP pledged A$750,000 to the WWF Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund as part of the bushfire relief efforts the as announced by Novak Djokovic and Nadal. "I wanted to go out there and play, even though I've got a four centimetre, grade two tear, so it's not a joke, it's something really serious", he said.

"It's emotional stuff", said Kyrgios.

She has a very different game style than me, that's why I think it's exciting when we play each other. "Now I've just got to look at what's ahead".

Australian Nick Kyrgios has pledged 200 Australian dollars for every ace he hits this month.

The ongoing fires in Australia have killed 28 people and destroyed several thousand homes, majority in New South Wales and Victoria states.

The ATP on Sunday pledged 500,000 US dollars to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund as part of the bushfire relief efforts.

Smoke from bushfires blanketed Melbourne in a thick, gray haze on Wednesday before a clearing rain-storm, disrupting the Australian Open's qualifying matches for a second successive day.

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