Monday, 24 February, 2020

Federer, Williams, Nadal, Osaka, Kyrgios headline Tennis Australia bush fire fundraiser

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Alexander Zverev of Germany during their men's singles match at the 2019 Hangzhou Tmall Tennis Invitational Tournament in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province Roger Federer of Switzerland
Cary Erickson | 12 January, 2020, 23:57

"It is heartbreaking to see the devastation the bushfires are wreaking across the country and to see so many people and communities suffering", said Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley, according to a statement on Australia Open's website.

In addition, Australia will not escape this fire cycle as quickly.

"... I think the players understand that this is not something that we can do anything about and they've been gracious and very cooperative".

All funds raised from the two-and-a-half-hour event on January 15 at Rod Laver Arena - called AO Rally for Relief - will be donated to the relief cause with tickets priced at A$54 ($37.09).

Tennis Australia announced that the match is slated for January 15, the week before the first Grand Slam of the year.

Many players have also made personal pledges, with world No 1 Ashleigh Barty donating her prize money from the Brisbane International to the relief fund.

Kyrgios himself confirmed that he will be donating $200 for every ace he successfully serves at any tournament he plays in during the Australian summer, starting at the 24-team ATP Cup which began Jan 3 and is being held in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.

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I signed ten pairs of tennis shoes and handed them over to the @ BrisbaneTennis counter at the Westin Hotel along with a donation envelope for fire rescue efforts.

A special exhibition match has been organized which will showcase an impressive roster of the world's top tennis stars, including Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadel.

"I just couldn't keep anything in (but) that's the extent that I'm going to share with you".

Australian cricket legend Shane Warne has auctioned the baggy green cap he wore throughout his test career, which has so far reached $343,000 (500,000 AUSD).

Over the last few months, the bushfires are said to have claimed the lives of at least 25 people, burned through more than 12 million acres (some outlets reporting that number is already closer to 18 million as the fires continue to blaze) and killed at least half a billion animals.

Alongside support from the league, nine Australian NBA players have agreed to contribute $750,000 towards recovery efforts.