Tennis stars raise A$5 million for Australian bushfire charity


Top tennis stars gathered at Melbourne Park's Rod Laver Arena - days ahead of the Grand Slam tennis tournament, which begins on January 19 - for an exhibition match to raise money for the wildfires fund, even inviting volunteer firefighters onto the court to play against the athletes, CNN reported.

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

With Novak Djokovic looking in ideal shape after helping Serbia to victory at the inaugural ATP Cup and Rafael Nadal showing no signs of trouble with his game or his fitness, the "Big Three" are once again in the running for another Grand Slam crown.

'This was definitely an incredible kick off.

He then addressed fans in the stands saying: 'You guys too, because of you coming to the stadium tonight, that has also helped.

"I've trained long and hard in the off-season and I didn't have any setbacks, which is crucial", Federer said at a promotional event in Melbourne.

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

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev as well as Nick Kyrgios signed up with forces with WTA stars on Wednesday evening to sustain those affected by bushfires that have actually ravaged several component of Australia.

"What I wanted to do was raise awareness, raise money, and tell people to still go to Australia because people around the world are probably thinking that you are now unable to", said Federer.

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'And to have some fun, have a hit with Nick. we get along very well.

Kyrgios said the last couple of weeks have been 'emotional'.

Kyrgios said he "got goose bumps" when the figure was announced after his one-set match with Federer on the night.

"Back home in Canberra, I couldn't even go outside".

"I think the awareness has grown and we are doing everything that we possibly can to overcome this together".

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

Australia is experiencing one of its worst bushfire seasons in decades, with fires killing more than 28 people and destroying at least 2000 homes.

Australian Open's qualifiers were disrupted for the second successive day because of the thick grey hazy in the morning due to the smoke of the bushfire.