A full house at Rod Laver Arena has helped the Australian Open’s Rally for Relief raise almost $5 million to aid bushfire charities.
- Organisers said the event raised $4,826,014 for bushfire relief
- Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic were among the players
- Federer and Nadal donated $250,000 out of their own pockets
Stars including Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev also played Fast Four doubles at the event that helped to raise almost $4.8 million.
Federer took on Kyrgios in a one-set centrepiece of Wednesday night’s event and prevailed 7-6 (8/6). Not that anyone cared about the score.
“I’ve got goosebumps … everyone came together and it’s just an amazing feeling,” Kyrgios said.
“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks.
“The awareness has grown and I think we’re doing everything we possibly can to overcome this.”
Federer also dipped into his own pocket, combining with Nadal to make a $250,000 donation, with fundraising efforts to continue during the Australian Open.
With select firefighters and emergency personnel looking on from courtside seats, Rafael Nadal at one point called Deb Boirg, from Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (CFA), out onto court.
The pair played a game together against Wozniacki and Zverev, with the CFA volunteer even nabbing a couple of winners.
@WWOS: From fighting fires to joining her idol, Rafael Nadal, as a doubles partner. You’re doing great things, Deb
The Rally For Relief has been held before, raising money and awareness for the Queensland floods in 2011, and Federer said he was once again happy to help inform some people around the world about Australia’s current plight.
“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.
“That was the idea. And to have some fun, have a hit with Nick … we get along very well.
“We’ve had some epic matches over the years and this was fun … it wasn’t about winning and losing.”
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