Melbourne's massive tennis exhibition for Bushfire Relief raised almost $ 5 million

Carrie Guzman
January 16, 2020

Roger Federer beat Nick Kyrgios in a one-set exhibition match at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne - which is set to host the Australian Open next month - in front of a crowd of more than 15,000 people.

The 20-time grand-slam victor took on Kyrgios as the centrepiece of Wednesday night's event and prevailed 7-6 (8-6).

Twenty-three times Serena Williams and Australian Open defending champion Novak Djokovic also took part in the event.

Tennis greats Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain pledged to donate 250,000 Australian dollars (172,000 US dollars) towards the Australian bushfire relief efforts at a charity event on Wednesday in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

With select firefighters and emergency personnel looking on from courtside seats, Kyrgios saved two set points before Federer prevailed in an entertaining encounter.

But a competitive hit-out wasn't really his goal.

The Swiss master also dipped into his own pocket, combining with Nadal to make a $250,000 donation, with fundraising efforts to continue during the Australian Open. I wanted to raise awareness and raise money.

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"I think the other thing is this surface kind of favours Novak because his serve is a weapon, the first shot in the rally being the return of serve becomes the weapon, he has to get a racquet on the serve and the ball shoots back through the court. It was emotional", Kyrgios, an Australian native, said. "Now I've just got to look at what's ahead".

"I think the awareness has grown and we are doing everything that we possibly can to overcome this together".

At least 28 people have died so far in the wildfires throughout the country, and more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged in New South Wales alone, according to CNN. And to have a little bit of fun, we meet with Nick ... we get along very well.

The Australian bushfires are not seeming to calm down as the smoke has even delayed play at the Australian Open.

The ATP on Sunday pledged $500,000 to the WWF Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund as part of the bushfire relief efforts. "It's always tough for me to play Daria; we're good friends, we've known each other for many years since the juniors".

A number of players have made individual pledges including American Williams who said she would donate all her prize-money from winning a tournament in Auckland on Sunday.

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