Greek Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios was visibly emotional when discussing the Australian bush fire emergency following his ATP opening match victory against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane last night.
“I don’t really care about the praise too much. We’ve got the ability and the platform to do something. My home town is Canberra and we’ve got the most toxic air in the world at the moment, that’s pretty sad. It’s tough. Sorry,” struggled Kyrgios as he spoke on camera.
Kyrgios earlier this week called on Tennis Australia and the tennis world to rally behind the communities suffering from the devastating bushfires.
The Greek Australian tennis star kicked off the fundraising challenge by promising to donate $200 per ace he scored. By the end of the night, he had hit twenty aces and will be donating $4,000 with the ATP offering a similar donation for every ace hit by every player on tour, reaching more than $20,000 so far.
“It’s all going to all the families, firefighters, animals, everyone who is losing homes, losing families … it’s a real thing. It’s bigger than tennis,” stressed Kyrgios.
The Australian bushfires happen to be the worse in the world to date having claimed more than 12 million acres. For perspective, the California wildfires in 2018 claimed 2 million acres, followed by the 2019 Amazon fires which claimed 2.2 million acres.
The devastating fires in Australia also claimed the life of Greek Australian George Nole who died in his car in the northern NSW bushfire crisis on 8 November 2019.