The tennis world has come to the forefront to help raise funds for the Australian bushfire crisis but one tennis player has been personally affected by the crisis in Australia. Renee McBryde plays college tennis for the Texas A&M women’s tennis team in the United States but says she hails from Wollongong, Australia where the fires have had a big impact.
Se went to her home town in December to visit family and play a tennis tournament but several days of the tournament had to be cancelled due to the smoke from the fires. Speaking to The Eagle, McBryde says, “I know that my family is safe.
All my friends and everything are safe, but it’s upsetting seeing the news. I have friends who were like, ‘I couldn’t even get out on the court today just because I couldn’t breathe." The fires in Australia have affected several people - with 27 lives being claimed and an estimated half a billion animals being killed in the fires.
Many players have asked that the Australian Open be delayed due to concerns from the fires but Australian Open officials have so far said there are no plans to delay the tournament and that they would put in place rules to ensure that the health of the players are not affected by the smoke related to the fires once the tournament gets underway.
McBryde has been in Texas since 2018 due to Jordan Szabo, the Australian on head coach Mark Weaver's staff. Before she signed with Texas, McBryde was ranked 39th among Australians on the WTA Tour. At her highest, she was ranked No. 945 on the WTA singles rankings in February 2018.