australia bushfire relief effort tennis players

Australia Bushfire Appeal: When Tennis Stars Come Together

To kickoff tennis this 2020, the Australian Open is scheduled to begin on January 20 in Melbourne Park.

If not for the widespread bushfires in Australia that are currently raging the southeast, devastating homes, livelihood, forests, and wildlife.

Other than the concerns on the safety of the organizers, officials, players, and fans, the tennis players themselves have shown concerns about Australia and its people and wildlife.

Australia bushfire relief initiatives

Understanding the gravity of the situation, the tennis players themselves initiated a rallying cry for support.

Nick Kyrgios broke down during one of his interviews after an ATP Cup win. He revealed his difficulty focusing on his play, knowing that Australia and specifically, Canberra, his hometown, are being devastated by the bushfires.

Kyrgios said, “I’m glad the tennis world has taken the initiative, and hopefully, we can do whatever we can.”

  • Kyrgios started fundraising that reached to $700,000; he pledged $140 for every ace he hits for a total of $2,775
  • Following Kyrgios, other players also donated their aces: Alex de Minaur ($175), John Millman ($70), and Samantha Stosur ($140)
  • Following the tweets, Simona Halep did not commit her aces admitting she doesn’t hit several aces but instead will donate $200 each time she gave her coach a hard time in the box during all her matches in Australia
  • Kyrgios also tweeted Tennis Australia urging the organization to schedule an exhibition match
  • Tennis Australia pledged $700,000 to repair the damaged tennis facilities
  • The organization plans to donate $70 for each ace hit during the ATP Cup expected to be at $105,000 (the target is $150,000 with at least 1,500 aces)
  • Ashleigh Barty donated her Brisbane International winnings (which could be up to $265,000) to the relief efforts spearheaded by the Australian Red Cross
  • Barty also donated $20,850 in December 2019 to support the bushfire-affected wildlife
  • Maria Sharapova donated $17,400 while Novak Djokovic matched her financial support
  • Karolina Pliskova will also give $200 for every ace she hits while playing in Australia
  • WTA will donate $70 for each ace served at the Brisbane International, ASB Classic, Adelaide International, and Hobart International; the current tally of aces is 700

Exhibition match at Melbourne 

Tennis Australia is holding an exhibition match called Rally for Relief at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park. The match is a part of the Aces for Bushfire Relief program that the organization launched in the first week of January.

The match will happen on January 15, 6:30 pm. Tickets are already available at ticketmaster.com.au.  

It will feature Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal (although this detail is yet to be confirmed by the organization).

For the WTA, in an effort to help Tennis Australia, signed items will be auctioned off during the match.

Raising awareness and offering support through various fundraising opportunities are happening on social media. Hashtags #WTA4Love and #Aces4BushfireRelief were used.WTA players are directly asking fans to direct their donations to the Australian Red Cross at www.redcross.org.au/tennis.

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In an effort to help the Australian bushfire relief efforts, please head to www.redcross.org.au/tennis. Let’s ace this!

charitable tennis legends novak djokovic

3 Tennis Legends and Their Charitable Endeavours

Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.

This rings true for these tennis legends: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and of course, Novak Djokovic. All of them exemplify how a true legend should continue to positively affect the people especially their home country.

They earn millions of dollars and put them to good use through different charitable undertakings.

Bottom-line, the three tennis legends have contributed significantly to various causes.

1) Roger Federer

Federer has his own foundation named after him. The Roger Federer Foundation provides for children’s education, particularly those in Switzerland and across Africa. The foundation wants every child to be educated regardless of their social status or financial background.

Federer started his foundation back in 2003 when he was just 22 years old. As of 2017, the foundation has already spent €26 million ($28.8 million) in financial aid. 

Throughout the years, Federer has also formed partnerships to raise funds for the activities of his foundation. He already worked with Nadal, John Isner, and even Bill Gates.

2) Rafael Nadal

Same with Federer, Nadal also has his own foundation called Rafa Nadal Foundation (Fundación Rafa Nadal). The foundation also targets children, assisting and helping them achieve their dreams regardless of their financial capacities. It also aims to free them from social stigma.

Rafa Nadal Foundation has already established 21 centres across Spain and India. It has more than 900 direct beneficiaries and over 5,000 children taken care of. 

3) Novak Djokovic

Like Federer and Nadal, the world’s current No. 1 also has his own foundation known as Novak Djokovic Foundation (NDF). His foundation, which he co-founded with his wife Jelena, aims to uphold equality for children in Serbia.

His foundation has already built 43 schools to date and supported almost 20,800 children and a thousand families. 

Focusing on Novak

Novak has earned millions of dollars from playing tennis; he earned more money compared with other players. He is currently one of the highest-paid male tennis players with more than $134 million prize earnings. In 2019 alone, Novak made $9.1 million in prize earnings.

Further along, Novak earns more through endorsements of well-known brands. His endorsement earnings in 2019 are estimated at $40 million.

He may live the most luxurious lifestyle with homes in Monte Carlo as well as Miami and New York, travelling in style, and high-end cars, but he is very active in charitable works.

It was clear for Novak and Jelena that they wanted to improve early-childhood education in his native home, Serbia. They want to ensure that the children are getting high-quality preschool education. 

In an open letter, he mentioned, “I grew up in a country historically torn by different conflicts, but nevertheless, a country where children still dream big. Let us believe in their dreams.”

Nonetheless, they also provide for various causes more so when it involves his beloved people.

In 2014, Novak donated $750,000, his Italian Open prize earnings, to relief operations for the victims of flood in Serbia. In 2018 Season of Giving campaign, the foundation matched a $100,000 donation.

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6 Tennis Players Fighting Global Poverty

Certain causes and advocacies are closer to the hearts of the tennis players. These players contributing to the fight against both global poverty are no exemption.

Because of the high prizes in tennis tournaments, some players went on to become some of the wealthiest athletes worldwide. And some of them eventually became the most generous, putting their money to good use including creating their own foundations.

We listed down the most charitable tennis players whose off-court endeavours include alleviating the conditions of the poorest people in the world.

1) Roger Federer

Federer started his foundation in 2003. Operating in Switzerland and South Africa, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, his foundation provides for the needs of impoverished children. In this way, they were given a chance to succeed in life by providing them access to quality education. In 2016, his foundation spent $6 million to improve struggling educational systems in Switzerland. 

Aside from the academic goal, the foundation also promotes sports-related activities among children affected by poverty. 

As of 2018, the foundation has already helped 1 million children.

2) Steffi Graf

Graf also has her own foundation called Children for Tomorrow, which she started in 1998. The foundation aims to provide treatments to children and adolescents victimized by war and other organized violence.

At present, the foundation has a presence in 17 countries; Eritrea and Uganda are included.

3) Rafael Nadal

Nadal started his own foundation in 2008 with the help of his mother, Ana Maria Parera. 

His foundation caters to the socially disadvantaged children in Spain, integrating them into society and eliminating the threat of exclusion because of their status. The foundation also educates them through sport. 

In 2018, the foundation was able to help more than 900 children. It also hosts various charity events every year since it was founded.

4) Andy Murray

Murray does not have his own foundation, but he was supporting different causes nevertheless. 

His philanthropic works include giving donations to charities whose main goal is to help alleviate global poverty. Some of his chosen organizations are Comic Relief and Global Fund. He also provides for SportsAid and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Other than that, Murray was one of the founding members of Malaria No More (UK chapter).

5) Sloane Stephens

Stephens has a foundation named after her as well. The foundation develops sustainable enrichment programs intended for school-aged children living in Compton. The goal of these programs is to inspire children to “dream big.”

She also partners with Soles4Souls, an organization that targets to “Wear Out Poverty” in Nashville. It creates sustainable jobs as well as collects and distributes shoes and clothes throughout the world.

6) Novak Djokovic

Novak and his wife, Jelena, started his own foundation to address the social issues plaguing the youth in his home country, Serbia. Serbia is a war zone, and the conflicts are affecting the youth in several negative ways.

His foundation aims to ensure that children have access to early childhood education.

The foundation has already helped more than 20,000 children and almost a thousand families.

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Are you aware of any other tennis players who work to end poverty in various parts of the world? Please let us know.