Australian professional tennis player Nick Kyrgios has put his hand up to help the victims of raging bushfires in his country by promising a $200 donation for every ace he serves during the home summer season.
Over 1,000 homes have been destroyed by the fires fuelled by searing temperatures and high winds, with Kyrgios’ hometown of Canberra experiencing its worst air quality and residents have been told to stay indoors.
“I’m kicking off the support for those affected by the fires, I’ll be donating 200 dollars per ace that I hit across all the events I play this summer,’’ world number 30 Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
Kyrgios has one of the most lethal serves on the ATP Tour, averaging 16.6 aces per match in 2019.
Eager to help, Kyrgios’ ATP Cup team mate Alex de Minaur raised the stakes and announced he would donate 250 dollars for every ace off his racket during the Australian swing.
“I like this I will go 250 dollars per ace, just because I don’t think I’ll be hitting as many aces as you mate,” the 20-year-old de Minaur tweeted.
John Millman, ranked 48 in the world, also promised to donate 100 dollars for every ace during the Australian summer.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kyrgios had tweeted to Tennis Australia and proposed a charity exhibition match to help the bushfire victims.
The Australian’s suggestion was liked by over 12,500 users.
“It’s pretty tragic what’s going on, especially with my hometown, Canberra, being under a bit of smoke, the most hazardous smoke in the world at the moment.
“It’s obviously sad for everything that’s going on.
“There’s no rain predicted there for the next four months, so it doesn’t look like the fires are going to slow down anytime soon, which is pretty sad,” Kyrgios said at an ATP Cup news conference in Brisbane
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has since confirmed that a multi-city fundraiser campaign will be launched to support those who have been impacted by the wildfires.
“We want to help these communities in a meaningful way.
“We will announce a number of fundraising and support initiatives that will be rolled out across the ATP Cup, Australian Open and our other events over the coming weeks
“Stay tuned for further announcements,” Tiley wrote in a statement.
Kyrgios will kick off his season when Australia takes on Germany in Group F of the ATP Cup on Friday.
After Kyrgios’ announcement received a warm response on social media, the ATP pledged 100 dollars for each ace served across the 10-day tournament in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney to the Australian Red Cross bushfire disaster relief and recovery efforts.
“With more than 1,500 aces expected to be served by singles and doubles players across both the group rounds and Final Eight in Sydney, the ATP Cup contribution is expected to exceed 150,000 dollars,” the ATP said in a statement.
The campaign will be jointly funded by the ATP, Tennis Australia, Tennis New South Wales, Tennis Queensland and Tennis West.