The recent wildfires of Australia have captured worldwide attention. Tennis stars who have been preparing for the Australian Open came together Tuesday to do their part to aid in brushfire relief. Among them, Serena Williams, who won her first 2020 season match over Camila Giorgi in Auckland this week, and Australian Open Women’s Singles champ Naomi Osaka. The Rod Laver Arena was a sold out as tennis superstars came together for a fundraising effort called #rallyforrelief
Sparked by tennis star Nick Kyrgios’ pledge to donate $200 for every ace he sent down this summer, other athletes came on board and together have raised $4.8 million in wildfire relief for Australia. According to Australian Open website ausoopen.com, Nick expressed, “I’m just so happy we had some of the greats to get behind (tonight’s event). Everyone around the world at the moment, the awareness has grown, and I think we’re doing everything we possibly can to overcome this (terrible situation) together.”
Fires began burning late last year in September as a result of record breaking heat, drought and lightning strikes.
Serena and Naomi are close friends. Osaka who is Japanese has been ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association. While hanging out with the other players she took pictures with Serena and made a playful Twitter post calling Williams her mom. As of 14 January 2020, fires this season have burned an estimated 46 million acres. Billions of animals have been killed including some endangered species that may have been driven into extinction. Over 2,000 homes have burned and 29 people have died. Funds can be donated to Aces for Brushfire Relief at https://ausopen.com/aces