Australia

Tennis Stars Raise Millions for Australian Wildfire Victims

Tennis Australia said the night helped raise nearly 5 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million) for the victims of recent and ongoing fires in Australia

Scott Barbour/AAP Image via AP

A capacity crowd of more than 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena watched Roger Federer defeat Nick Kyrgios in a one-set finale to the Australian Open's Rally for Relief to aid wildfire charities on Wednesday.

Tennis Australia said the night helped raise nearly 5 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million) for the victims of recent and ongoing fires in Australia that have killed 28 people and destroyed several thousands homes, most of them in New South Wales and Victoria states.

Firefighters in New South Wales continue to battle wildfires in the region. Video from Fire and Rescue NSW shows one of their units being overrun by flames from the fire.
Firefighters in New South Wales continue to battle wildfires in the region. Video from Fire and Rescue NSW shows one of their units being overrun by flames from the fire.

Smoke haze from the continuing fires has played havoc with scheduling of the first two days of qualifying at Melbourne Park, delaying play by several hours and prompting complaints from players over the air quality.

Other players who took part included Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Alexander Zverev. On several occasions, volunteer fire personnel were invited on the court to play against the tennis stars.

The fund-raising efforts, which include various amounts for aces served during the tournament and the sale of merchandise donated by players, will continue when the Australian Open begins on Monday.

Owners of a kangaroo rescue in Australia were forced to flee when fire ripped through the area. They returned not knowing what happened to the kangaroos.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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