The recent headlines have been plagued with the hellish bushfires gorging the whole of Australia. While many organizations and influential individuals have pledged to donate substantial amounts of funds and personnel to aid the aftermath of the event, the sporting world has decided to play their part in extending their help and attention that the continent of Australia can gather.
A special exhibition match has been organized which will showcase an impressive roster of the world’s top tennis stars, including Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadel. The trio who have an impressive total of 62 grand slams between them will be joined by Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who are equally accomplished in their leagues.
The exhibition matches will be played on January 15 at Melbourne Park Rod’s Laver Arena and are organized by the Australian Open Rally for Relief who will donate the entire amount that will be accumulated from the ticket sales of the match. The ticket prices are valued at 37$(54 AUSD) for adults and $24(25 AUSD) for children. The ticket prices are slashed from the normal price of the matches in order to attract a huge crowd. However, with big names highlighting the event, a packed event is expected.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova who was granted a wild card entry to the exhibition match has already donated $17,400 with Novak Djokovic matching that bid. In addition, Sharapova has also signed 10 pairs of her tennis shoes which will be made public for sale at $206 (300 AUSD), the proceedings of which will be donated to the Australian Red Cross.
Australia has seen quite some devastating losses emerging from the bushfire that has resulted in the death of 24 people, till date. The losses to the wildfire and the land covered by vegetation has yet to be determined, however, initial studies show around 18 million acres of land has been burned with the death of over half a billion lifeforms perishing in the worst blaze that the country has faced in decades.