Often termed as the ‘bad boy’ of modern-day Tennis – Nick Kyrgios has begun a noble movement by spreading awareness about the deadly Australian bushfires which severely impacted his countrymen in the past few days. Kyrgios has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he serves during the Australian summer to help the victims and families affected by bushfires in New South Wales and Victoria.
“I’m kicking off the support for those affected by the fires. I’ll be donating $200 per ace that I hit across all the events I play this summer.” world No. 30 Kyrgios wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Extending their support and joining the movement, several other Australian Tennis stars have also agreed to donate the money to bushfire victims for every ace they hit in the upcoming tournaments.
After Kyrgios’ announcement, his compatriot and Australia’s highest-ranked men’s singles player Alex de Minaur said he would donate ‘$250 per ace’. He further added that he doesn’t think he will hit as many as Kyrgios.
“I like this, I will go $250 per ace, just because I don’t think I’ll be hitting as many aces as you mate,” the 20-year-old wrote.
Fellow Australians John Millman, John Peers, Sam Stosur and Ellen Perez also joined the cause, saying they would also donate money per ace served. ATP also pledged to donate $100 for each ace served across the upcoming 10-day ATP Cup, beginning on Friday (January 3).
“With more than 1,500 aces expected to be served by singles and doubles players across both the group rounds and the final eight in Sydney, the ATP Cup contribution is expected to exceed $150,000,” the ATP said in a statement.
Australian bushfires have claimed 18 lives and forced mass evacuations. It has been so severe that more than 1,300 homes are destroyed and over 5.5 million hectares (13.5 million acres) scorched.
Earlier in the day, Tennis Australia also announced that fundraisers would be held during tournaments including the Australian Open and the ATP Cup team event to help the victims. “For weeks we’ve been watching the devastation caused by bushfires across Australia and the people affected are constantly in our thoughts,” said Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.
World number two Novak Djokovic, who is based in Brisbane with Serbia for the ATP Cup, visited a koala sanctuary and said it brought home to him the devastation wrought by the fires.
“It’s very sad to know how many people & animals have lost their homes to the bushfires. My heart and support goes out to all those affected,” he tweeted.