Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios joined forces with WTA stars on Wednesday night to support those impacted by bushfires that have devastated many part of Australia.
The Rally for Relief, held on Rod Laver Arena, the main stadium court at the Australian Open, raised almost AUD $5 million for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Firefighters were courtside relaying their recent experiences.
World No. 1 Nadal and Federer announced that they would donate $250,000 to the bushfire relief efforts. “Hopefully that keeps inspiring the people to support this terrible disaster that we are going through,” said Nadal.
Federer said: “It’s been difficult [to watch]. You wish that this doesn’t happen in your country. In Switzerland we don’t have these kind of extreme situations. I’m always happy to help. I wanted to raise awareness and raise money. And tell the people to still travel to Australia.”
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Team Williams — featuring Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, Nadal, Djokovic and Thiem — played against Team Wozniacki, consisting of Caroline Wozniacki, Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff, Tsitsipas and Zverev, in fun, traditional doubles matches on Wednesday. Federer and Kyrgios also completed an exhibition set.
Kyrgios, who was one of the first players to pledge a donation, offering $200 for each ace that he strikes, said: “It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. It’s so hard, I just wanted to send a message. That was an opportunity for me to use my platform. “I woke up the next day and it (had) kind of exploded. It was so emotional.”
To donate, visit ausopen.com/aces