Australian Open relief rally raises nearly $ 5 million for forest fires


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Published

January 15, 2020 23:50:11

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A full house at Rod Laver Arena helped the Australian Open Aid Rally raise nearly $ 5 million to help bushfire charities.

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Key Points:

  • Organizers said the event raised $ 4,826,014 for forest fire relief
  • Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic were among the players.
  • Federer and Nadal donated $ 250,000 from their own pockets

Stars such as Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev also played Fast Four in doubles at the event that helped raise nearly $ 4.8 million.

Federer faced Kyrgios in a centerpiece of Wednesday night's event and won 7-6 (8/6). Not that anyone cared about punctuation.

"I got goose bumps … they all came together and it's just an amazing feeling," said Kyrgios.

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"It's been a few emotional weeks.

"When I was back home in Canberra, I couldn't even leave [due to air contamination] … and I'm so glad we had Roger, Rafa, Novak – some of the big ones – who got behind this.

"Awareness has increased and I think we are doing everything we can to overcome it."

Federer also plunged into his own pocket, teaming up with Nadal to make a $ 250,000 donation with fundraising efforts to continue during the Australian Open.

With selected firefighters and emergency teams looking from the court's seats, Rafael Nadal at a point called Deb Boirg of the Victoria Country Country Authority (CFA) entered the court.

The pair played a game together against Wozniacki and Zverev, with the CFA volunteer even winning some winners.

Rally For Relief was held earlier, raising money and awareness for the Queensland floods in 2011, and Federer said he was once again happy to help inform some people around the world about Australia's current situation.

"What I wanted to do was raise awareness, raise money and tell people who were still traveling to Australia because people probably think around the world that you can't now," Federer said.

"That was the idea. And for fun, have a hit with Nick … we get along great.

"We have had some epic matches over the years and that was fun … it wasn't about winning and losing."

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AAP / ABC

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