Monday, 17 February, 2020


Roger Federer pays tribute to Australians after Rally for Relief

Novak Djokovic to Join Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for AO Rally for Relief Australian Open: Alex Zverev fires shots at Nick Kyrgios on eve of tournament
Noah Ferguson | 16 January, 2020, 10:14

Amid the Australian Open qualifying rounds, the Rally for Relief - organised on Wednesday evening - featured big-name stars including Roger Federer, Serena William, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, reports Xinhua news agency.

That is the opinion of Eurosport tennis expert and seven-time Grand Slam victor Mats Wilander.

Tennis greats Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain pledged to donate 250,000 Australian dollars (172,000 US dollars) towards the Australian bushfire relief efforts at a charity event on Wednesday in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

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

"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.

But a competitive hit-out wasn't really his goal, he said.

Despite having played no competitive matches since November, 20-time major victor Federer, has said he's been happy with his preparation at home in Switzerland. I wanted to raise awareness and raise money.

The Swiss master also dipped into his own pocket, combining with Nadal to make a $250,000 donation, with fundraising efforts to continue during the Australian Open.

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

"Back home in Canberra, I couldn't even go outside. It was so emotional", said Kyrgios. "Everyone around the world, the awareness has grown and I think we're doing everything we possibly can to overcome this together".

"I've got goosebumps ... everyone came together and it's just an wonderful feeling", Kyrgios said.

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

That has included personal pledges and Aus$100 for each ace hit during the Australian tennis swing.

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

Smoke from the fires has caused disruption to the Australian Open qualifying and prompted criticism from some players about the conditions.

Williams pledged the winnings from her first title victory in almost three years at the Auckland Classic.

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