At the Pat Rafter Arena, in Brisbane, Australia claimed an important 3-0 win against Germany with Nick Kyrgios, Alex De Minaur, and Chris Guccione/John Peers triumphing on day one. It was Kyrgios who won Australia’s first ever match of the ATP Cup, as he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 7-6(4).
During the post-match interview, the Aussies’ No. 2 got emotional talking about the devastating bushfires which continue to ravage his home city and a big part of Australia. The World No. 30 pledged earlier to donate $200 for every ace he will hit during the Australian Summer.
During his match against Struff, Kyrgios scored 20, hence totalizing a personal donation amount of $4,000, subject to increase. ATP Cup tournament director Tom Larner has also declared that $100 will be donated to the Australian Red Cross bushfire relief and recovery efforts for every ace served by players during the competition, which means the Australian helped to raise $2,000 more, resulting in a $6,000 worth donation.
“I don’t really care about the praise too much. We’ve got the ability and the platform to do something. My home town is Canberra and we’ve got the most toxic air in the world at the moment, that’s pretty sad.
It’s tough”. Then, after an apology, Kyrgios stopped briefly to wipe away his tears. “It’s all going to all the families, firefighters, animals, everyone who is losing homes, losing families … it’s a real thing.
It’s bigger than tennis,” Kyrgios continued, getting an ovation from the public. He added: “It’s tough to go out there and concentrate on tennis, to be honest. Every ace I was hitting that’s all I was thinking about.
Every time I stepped up to the line that’s all I was thinking about”. Kyrgios’ classy example was soon followed by some of his compatriots, including Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Dylan Alcott and Samantha Stosur.
As suggested by the Canberra native, a “Rally for Relief” exhibition match will be held at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on January 15th to raise more money for the victims of the disaster.