Critical bushfires are sweeping through Australia, destroying forests and houses, damaging the local ecosystems, and gravely polluting the air. Fueled by the extreme drought, 40C temperatures and strong winds, the walls of flames have ravaged over 12 million hectares of land already.
Unable to ignore the natural disaster, professional tennis players are taking advantage of the Australian month on the Tour to donate money to the organizations which are working relentlessly to tame the fires. Ashleigh Barty declared that she would donate all of her Brisbane prize money to sooth her country’s pain, while Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic will be sending $25,000 each.
Aussie Nick Kyrgios kicked off a brilliant initiative during the first days of the ATP Cup, pledging to send $200 for every ace he would hit during the Australian Summer. Many fellow professional players have followed his example (such as Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Dylan Alcott, Samantha Stosur, Matt Reid, and Simona Halep) and more continue to join the dubbed 'Aces for Bushfires Relief'
“So heartbreaking seeing what’s happening in Australia,” wrote Amanda Anisimova on her social media. “My heart goes out to everyone out there. For every ace I serve over the Australian summer I will be donating $150”.
Germany’s Julia Goerges also sent her recovery wishes and plan for a donation: “I will be donating $100 for every ace I hit during the Australian Open Swing plus every ace Ashleigh Barty and I hit as a team in doubles at the Australian Open, to help support those affected by the wildfires in Australia”.
Former World No. 1 and 2019 Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova could not hold back: “Australia has my heart. I really want to help those affected by the devastating fires. I'm donating $150 per ace through all my tournaments here; now I better go work on my leftie serve”.
Kiki Bertens, who is competing alongside Barty in Brisbane's doubles draw, has shared her own promise of help: "Thank you Ashleigh Barty for playing with me. First win and first aces of the season. Hopefully many more to come here.
I’ll donate 100$ per ace for the terrible bushfires here in lovely Australia." Timea Babos will also sontribute, as communicated by her coach, Michael Joyce: “Every ace that Timea Babos hits during her Australian summer she will donate 100 $ for the bushfires!!!
As I want to be in along with her physio, but we obviously can't hit aces, we said we will donate 25 $ for every return winner Timea hits”.