Tennis superstars Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams will feature, alongside a number of other Tennis players, in an exhibition match to raise funds for Australian bushfire relief efforts. The event is scheduled ahead of this year’s Australian Open.
Wildfires have raged across Australia for months, causing huge loss to life and property and burning about 10.3 million hectares (25,500 square miles) of bushland – an area equal to the size of South Korea. The fires have killed 26 people and an estimated 500 million animals and destroyed 1000 homes.
“The world’s top players, boasting many Grand Slam titles between them, have committed to AO Rally for Relief and we look forward to announcing the line-up in the coming days,” said Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley in an official statement.
“We felt it was vital we use all our events across the summer to make a meaningful contribution to help these people and communities rebuild their lives. The response from the tennis community – our players, clubs, partners and international tennis bodies – has been overwhelming and it’s wonderful to see everyone pull together.
“The world’s top players, boasting many Grand Slam titles between them, have committed to AO Rally for Relief and we look forward to announcing the line-up in the coming days. The players are keen to be involved – we’ve had a tremendous response from them and they are keen to help,” he added.
The event is a part of Aces for Bushfire Relief program where $A100 are being donated by Tennis Australia for every ace served in the ongoing ATP cup in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.
Earlier, Tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic also pledged donations to the bushfire relief fund. Both players donated $A25,000 each.