Close to A$ five million($ 3.4 million) was raised for the raging Australian bushfires after a special charity event in which the world’s best tennis players took to the court.
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.
Firefighters and emergency personnel watched on from courtside seats as the multi-generational stars played fast four doubles, bringing much-needed laughter and fun to those who have struggled over the past months.
Australia’s devastating bushfires have claimed at least 28 lives, destroying over 2,000 homes and razed millions of hectares of wilderness.
Nick Kyrgios, who comes from an area near to where the fires are, described the emotional feeling of seeing some of the biggest stars in the world getting behind Australia in a time of need.
“The awareness has grown and I think we’re doing everything we possibly can to overcome this,” Kyrgios said.
In an Australian Open preview, Kyrgios was joined by Federer for a friendly one set match, which the Swiss legend won 7-6.
“What I wanted to do was raise awareness, raise money and tell people to still come and travel to Australia because people probably think around the world that you can’t right now,” Federer said.
Federer also paired up with Nadal to donate A$ 250,000 from their own pockets too help with bushfire relief.